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close this bookAccess of Girls and Women to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Africa (UNESCO, 1999, 480 p.)
close this folderPART II
View the documentScientific, Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) for Girls in South Africa
View the documentParticipation of Girls and Women in Science, Technical and Vocational Education in the Republic of Benin
View the documentPromotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Africa a Case Study of Burundi
View the documentSpecial Project on Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education for Girls in Chad
View the documentThe Participation of Girls and Women in Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Ethiopia
View the documentStatus Report Baseline Information on Girls in Science, Technical and Vocational Education in Ghana
View the documentPromotion of the Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in the Republic of Kenya
View the documentThe Status of Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education of Girls in Madagascar
View the documentPromotion of the Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Malawi
View the documentPromotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Mali
View the documentPromotion of the Equal Access to Girls in Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Republic of Namibia
View the documentPromotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Niger
View the documentScientific, Technical and Vocational Education of Girls in Nigeria
View the documentPromotion of Equal Access of Girls to Science Education and Technical Education in Africa. Case for Uganda
View the documentThe Promotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Africa Case Study of Senegal
View the documentPromotion of Equal Access of Girls to Vocational and Science Education in Swaziland
View the documentPromotion of Equal Access of Girls to Science Education and Technical/Vocational Education in Africa: The Case of Tanzania
View the documentPromotion of Equal Access for Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Togo
View the documentPromotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Zambia
View the documentPromotion of the Equal Access of Girls to Scientific Technical and Vocational Education in Zimbabwe

Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education (STVE) for Girls in South Africa

Anastassios POURIS*

* Science Consultancy Entreprises, PO Box 37 833 Faerie Glen, South Africa

THE DAWN OF WOMEN'S GOLDEN AGE IN SOUTH AFRICA

The preface of a recent book on South African women1 describes eloquently the situation in the country today. It states:

“Never in the history of South Africa have the women of this country had the opportunities they have today - nor the choices. Never have they been more powerful. Never have they received so much attention. And never have they been so active.”

1 M. Lessing (1994) South African Women Today, Maskew Miller Longman. Cape Town, SA.

Women in South Africa leapfrogged from a position of triple oppression - that of race, class and gender - to a state of equality and rapid advancement.

The adoption in 1993 of the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and a justifiable Charter of Fundamental Rights has created the cornerstone for the gender equality of South African women. Equality for women is enshrined in the Preamble and in Chapter 3 (Fundamental Rights). It is also entrenched in the Constitutional Principles which bind the Constitutional Assembly. The Constitution also specifically prohibits discrimination on grounds such as race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or social origin.

In April 1994, South Africans took a massive leap forward and changed the country's course from white rule and apartheid to a non-racial and non-sexist democracy. The Government of National Unity (GNU) under President Nelson Mandela was inaugurated, making the shift in power. The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) of the new Government raised the position and interests of women on virtually every page and recognition is bestowed on to women.

To quote President Mandela in his State of the Nation Address:

“It is vitally important that all structures of government, including the President himself, should understand this fully: that freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression. All of us must take this on board that the objectives of the RDP will not have been realized unless we see in visible and practical terms that the condition of the women of our country has radically changed for the better, and that they have been empowered to intervene in all aspects of life as equals with any other member of society.”

Women, whose majority received for first time the right to vote in the 1994 elections, occupy currently 101 from the 400 seats of the national Assembly. There are two women ministers (Health and Public Enterprises) and three women deputy ministers (Arts, Culture Science and Technology, Welfare and Agriculture). The Speaker of Parliament is also a woman.

The latter places South Africa among the seven countries in the world with a woman in this position.

Women, whose majority first admitted in the South African Police in the 1980s are occupying currently more than 810 positions (albeit the majority on lower ranks). In the judicial system in 1994 there were 8990 posts (Dept of Justice). Four thousand, three hundred and thirty eight of these were filled by women (this represents 48,25% of the Department's personnel corps).

In the university sector, females enrolment experienced a much higher annual growth (8.3% per annum) than male enrolments (3.5% per annum) at the university level for the period 1986-1993. The result has been a more equitable representation of female students in 1993. During 1986, 40% of all equitable representation of female students in 1993. By 1995 female students were the majority, forming 52% of the student body2.

2 FRD (1996) South African Science and Technology Indicators. Foundation for Research Development Pretoria. SA.

Last but not least, there has been a marked increase in women's participation in the workforce. In 1960, women accounted for 23% of the workforce, 36% in 1995, and 41% in 1991.

These success, however, should be seen in the context of the oppressive environment during the apartheid years and the inequalities that still exist. The education system is characteristic of the period.

A major characteristic of South Africa's education is the apartheid ideology which provided the framework for restructuring the education system after 1948. Starting with the Bantu Education Act of 1953, all education in South Africa was officially divided along racial/ethnic lines to reinforce the dominance of white rule by excluding blacks from quality academic education and technical training.

The Extension of the University Education Act of 1959, which established racially based universities, applied this ideology to higher education. The University Colleges of the North and of Zululand were established for Sotho, Venda, Tsonga-speaking and Zulu-speaking African people respectively, and the Universities of Western Cape and Durban-Westville for coloureds and Indians respectively. The University of Fort Hare, which had for many decades played a significant role in improving higher education to black people from South Africa and the rest of Africa, was restricted to Xhosa-speaking Africans.

Prior to this Act the existing universities catered largely for whites. Although there was no legislation barring Africans from any university at that point, universities were differentiated by race. The Extension of University Education Act formally restricted entry to universities according to race. Africans were admitted to white universities only in cases where equivalent programmes were not offered at black universities and only after ministerial permission was obtained. The early 1980s saw the establishment of several universities in the independent “homelands” which intended to service the needs of separate development.

In keeping with international and in response to national needs a third type of higher education institution - the technikon - developed in 1978 alongside the universities and colleges for vocational training. The technikons developed within the apartheid framework which at that time defined the rest of the education system. This ultimately led to a South African higher education system. This ultimately led to a South African higher education set-up having as its main components 21 universities, 15 technikons and about 140 single discipline, vocational colleges (education, nursing and agriculture), all divided along racial lines.

The three types of institutions were supposed to have strict functional boundaries. However, substantial overlap exists with universities dominating the higher education sector.

The debate during the apartheid period was focused on issues of access by Africans and was only marginally concerned with the 'sub-issue' of gender. In 1986 only 23% of the university sector were African compared with 64% whites. In the technikons, only 7% were Africans while 83% where Whites. Between 1986 and 1993, African enrollments at universities and technikons increased at an average annual rate of 14%, compared to an average annual growth of 0.4% for whites. Total student enrollment at universities and technikons increased by an annual average of 8% during this period.

It should be emphasised, however, that much of this growth in the enrollment of African students at universities, for instance, was due to increasing numbers being registered at historically black universities (HBUs) which as a group almost doubled their student numbers, and at the distance learning universities of Vista and Unisa. In contrast, growth at the historically white universities (HWUs) was limited, with an annual increase of 1.5% against almost 10% for HBUs.

This meant that African students were educated in institutions without the necessary capacity and resources to cope adequately with the special needs of students with unfavourable school background.

Despite the increase in the number of African students their participation rate in higher education is still small. During 1993, 69.7% of the age cohort 20 to 24 years old of whites were participating in the higher education. The figure for Indians was 40.4%, for coloureds 13% and for Africans 12.1%.

In the age group 18-21 which is typically the age group for South African students to enter higher education, the participation rate of Africans increased from 5% in 1986 to 11% in 1992, while the rate of coloureds increased from 9% to 12%, Indians from 32% to 37% and whites from 61% to 65 % in the same period.

Racial inequalities in access are not limited to the total number participating in the system, but exist across disciplines, gender and are most prevalent in the more senior levels of study. The concentration of particularly African and coloured student enrollments at the HBUs and distance education institutions had a significant impact on the type and levels of programmes black students had access to. In 1993 only about 20% of FTE students following courses in the broadly defined area of the natural sciences were registered at HBUs. In 1993, the ratio of natural science enrollments in the contact historically white institutions (HWIs) to those of the contact historically black institutions (HBIs) was nearly 4:1.

Even in the HWIs, however, lack of monitoring funding through formulas and lack of political will to provide direction biases the university output (Appendix I). As a result, 74% of all B-degrees awarded in 1993 were in the social sciences and humanities.

Figure 1 shows the degrees awarded by broad field for the period 1985 to 1993.


Figure 1. Degrees awarded by broad field

Gender inequalities should be seen within the context of overall bias in favour of social sciences and humanities. The number of girls who were awarded degrees almost doubled betwee, 1986 and 1993, increasing form 12,017 to 21,211. This represented an annual growth of 8%. The number of males graduating increased by 4% over the same period from 17;002 to 23,020. In 1986, females constituted only 40% of all new graduates, but the larger growth in degrees awarded to them resulted in their representation increasing to 48% by 1993. Female representation at postgraduate level was much lower, with 33% of masters degrees and doctorates being awarded to them in 1993.

In the technikon sector gender inequalities are more evident as only 30% of the students are women

Table 1 shows the share of female students who received university bachelor and postgraduate degrees accordint to broad fields of study.

Women outnumber men at the bachelor level in health sciences and social sciences and humanities. Their presence was minimal in the field of engineering. At the postgraduate level women occupy a smaller share than in the undergraduate level across the board.

Table 1: Share of female students receiving bachelor and postgraduate degrees - 1993

Natural Sciences and agriculture

Bachelor
Degrees

Postgraduate
degrees

Natural Sciences and agriculture

39

36

Engineering and architecture

14

13

Health sciences

66

57

Social sciences and humanities

53

45

The staff composition in higher education reflects more the realities of the past. Those disparities become more apparent when the distribution of permanent research and teaching staff is considered. In 1993, 68% of total academic (teaching/research) staff employed were men compared to 32% women. The disparities increase with rank, so much so that it is at the senior levels that the absence of women is most conspicuous. In 1982, across the universities, 26% of all lecturers, 15% of associate professors and 6% of professors were women.

This reality is also reflected on the assessment of researchers by the Foundation for Research Development (FRD). FRD is a statutory body promoting research in the natural sciences and engineering by providing funding support. The decision to support an individual and the level of support depend solely on the outcome of an evaluation of the candidate, based on his track record at the time of evaluation.

What the assessment sets out to address is the likelihood that the researcher, if supported, will produce good research. This is done through extrapolation of the candidate's past research and in particular his or her most recent work. The individual's scientific stature is judged by the quality of publications, patents and internal reports, by invited contributions to conferences both national and international, collaboration with fellow scientists in interdisciplinary or advanced fields, by the ability to attract others including postgraduate students to his or her research activity, by the candidate's leadership and by those scholastic activities related to research.

RESEARCHERS ARE ASSESSED AND CLASSIFIED TO SIX DIFFERENT CATEGORIES

Table 2: Description of FRD rating categories

Category

Description

A

Researchers who are without doubt accepted by the international science, engineering or technology community as being amongst the leaders for the high quality of their research outputs

B

Researchers who enjoy considerable international recognition as independent researchers for the high quality of their research outputs

C

Established researchers who as individuals or as members of a team produce research outputs of an international standard which are appreciated by the science, engineering or technology community either internationally or locally.

P

Researchers (normally younger than 35 years of age) who have obtained their doctoral or equivalent degrees during the past five years and who, on the basis of exceptional potential as researchers during their doctoral studies and/or early postdoctoral careers, are highly likely to be recognised by the international community as being amongst the future leaders in their field or as enjoying considerable international recognition as independent researchers of high quality by the next evaluation

Y

Researchers (normally younger than 35 years of age) who have obtained their doctoral or equivalent degrees during the past five years and who, on the basis of the recent research output emanating from their doctoral studies and/or early post-doctoral research careers, shown promise of establishing themselves as researchers by the next evaluation

L

Researchers who have demonstrated potentional in their career, but who were impeded by external factors from realising their potential, and who show promise to establish themselves as researchers within the period until the next evaluation

Table 2 shows the percentage of women with ratings in the various categories for the period 1984 to 1996. As FRD is the only funding source for academic research in the natural sciences and engineering in the country, the table reflects the situation of women academics in the higher education sector. Women are minimally represented A category (top echelon) while they represent 25% of researchers at the bottom of the scale.

Table 3. Percentage women with valid FRD ratings

Ratings

1984

1990

1992

1996

A

0

0

0

2.2

B

4.5

3.3

3.4

4.7

C

4.6

7.8

7.9

9.8

P

0

2 7.8

25.0

25.9

Y

3.6

18.5

21.1

25.0

L




14.7

FACTORS DETERMINING THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The orientation of women towards science and technology in South Africa is affected on the one hand by the same gender attitudes prevailing internationally (women are better as nurses and secretaries and men as welders and engineers) and on the other by the local culture and stage of development.

The former are the subject of international studies and we will refrain from repeating them here.

Probably the most important factor determining science and technology attitudes in the country is the level of mathematics and science education at school level.

In the past, most African pupils (both boys and girls) did not have the opportunity to choose science and mathematics as subjects at school, or opt for careers in science. While the situation is changing, there is still a shortage of appropriately qualified science and mathematics teachers at African schools, which tends to slow down the pace of change. Inadequate tuition in mathematics resulted largely from the fact that only about 63% of the mathematics teachers at African secondary schools have professional teacher-education qualifications, and relatively few of these teachers have been trained at universities. In 1994, there was an average of more than 137 pupils per mathematics teacher, and about 215 pupils per qualified mathematics teacher, at African schools.

In 1993, less than 20% of all Africans who passed Std 10 had mathematics or physical science as subjects, and of those that did, only about 20% passed these subjects on the higher grade. Although there has been a gradual improvement since 1990 in the percentage of African pupils obtaining a school-leaving certificate with mathematics and physical science as subjects, there is still a considerable gap to be closed between Africans and the other population groups. An indication of the problem is the African pass rate of only 25% for mathematics (compared with 95% for whites) and 50% for physical science (compared with 98% for whites).

The available of female role models in the fields of health and educational services coupled with the growth of and needs for these professions provides an incentive to those with the necessary qualifications to more in these fields. Although this may be advantageous to women, it redirects them away from other professions in the fields of science and technology at the same time.

The gender differentiation has to some extent been politically engineered. The following statement made by HF Verwoerd provides an indication of the prevailing thinking of the time.

“As a woman is by nature so much better fitted for handling young children, and as the great majority of Bantu children are to be found in lower classes of primary school, it follows that there should be far more female than male teachers. The department will therefore... declare the assistant post in... primary schools to be female teachers' posts... Quotas will be laid down at the training schools as regards numbers of male and female candidates respectively which may be allowed to enter for the course... This measure will in the course of time bring about a considerable saving of funds which can be devoted to....more children at school.”

Similarly, it has been argued that the cycle of gender differentiation is reproduced and reinforced in the classroom via the curriculum as well as via teacher expectations and the roles that the male and female teachers perform. Truscott3 in her comparative analysis of subjects taken by boys and girls it argues that it.

“Illustrates the power relationships in South African society: while men are being trained in Commerce, Law and Engineering to prepare them well paid careers in business and management. Black women study Languages, Education and Social Sciences to prepare them for lower paid jobs in teaching or servicing professions.”

3 Truscott, K. 1992, Gender in Education NEPI report.

Thomson4 under the auspices of the South African Council for Natural Sciences, investigated the factor contributing to losing women from science and technology some 10 years ago. The investigation included interviews of a large number of scientists, male and female, and other stakeholders. The reasons identified included.

· “career interruption due to children, with little provision for 'catching up', especially in rapidly moving fields of science;

· poor science teaching, and attitudes instilled at school, namely that women should not opt for science as a career; too little time for research, often due to heavy teaching loads;

· poor maternity leave conditions;

· inadequate child-care facilities;

· a tax structure that discouraged working women;

· poor salaries;

· inflexible working conditions;

· active discrimination in the workplace (especially, although not exclusively, in industry);

· financial discrimination in the areas of pension, medical aid, housing subsides, etc;

· a loss of benefits if an employee changes to part-time employment as a result of home commitments;

· employer's lack of understanding of maternal crises;

· the stigma of being a 'working mother' and neglecting children.

4 Thomson, J.A. 1994 “Women in Science” in M. Lessing South African Woman Today.

Some of the solutions advocated to overcome career interruptions included maternity leave benefits and retraining courses to bridge the gap on the return to work. It also suggested convenient child-care facilities and the use of modern communication systems to enable female scientists to keep up to date with their work and to pursue it at home.

The group also suggested introducing a system in which women could switch between full-time jobs without losing their benefits. In addition, industry in particular would have to become more flexible with respect to hours and place of work if they wished to attract women.

Improved job incentives for school science teachers as well as acknowledgement of their essential role in the community was suggested as a solution to the schooling problem. It has also been proposed:

· introducing a tax system that encourages women to work;

· providing salaries that encourage women to pursue their chosen field;

· removing discrimination in pensions, housing subsidies, medical aid, and so forth;

· re-educating employers and husbands in their attitudes towards working women;

· urging husbands to assume more responsibility in the home and with children.

3- MEASURES PROMOTING EQUALITY

Gender equality in South Africa is entrenched in the Constitution. The principle of equality is enshrined in the Preamble:

We therefore through our freely elected representatives, adopt this Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic so as to:

Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights; lay the foundations for a democratic and open society in which government is based on the will of the people and every citizen is equally protected by law; improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person.

In the founding Provisions:

1. The Republic of South Africa is one sovereign democratic state founded on the following values:

a. human dignity, the achievement of equality and advancement of human rights and freedoms.

b. Non-racialism and non-sexism.

c. Supremacy of the constitution and the rule of law.

d. Universally adult suffrage, a national common voters roll, regular elections, and a multi-party system of democratic government, to ensure accountability, responsiveness and openness.

3.

3.1. There is a common South African citizenship:

3.2. All citizens are:

a. equally entitled to the rights, privileges and benefits of citizenship; and

b. equally subject to the duties and responsibilities of citizenship;

c. national legislation must provide for the acquisition, loss and restoration of citizenship.

In the Bill of Rights:

9. (1) Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

10. (2) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures.

10. (3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, and birth.

10. (4) No person may unfair discrimate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3). National legislations must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.

10. (5) Discrimination on one or more of the grounds listed in subsection(3) is unfair unless it is established that discrimination is fair.

and in other provisions. Furthermore, the Constitution provides for the establishment of a Commission on Gender Equality.

The functions of the Commission are stated as follows:

187

(1) The Commission for Gender Equality must promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality

(2) The Commission for Gender Equality has the power, as regulated by national legislation, necessarily to perform its functions, including the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality.

(3) The Commission for Gender Equality has the additional powers and functions prescribed by national legislation.

In the higher education area the recently published report A Framework for Transformation (1996) by the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) places particular emphasis on gender equality and make specific recommendations related to redress. The report places particular emphasis on staff, stating:

“The need to make the higher education staff profile more representative is undisputed. However, the barriers to access are complex and the problem cannot be confirmed to redressing apartheid's legacy. For example, in the case of gender, broader social constraints on women such as family responsibilities and institutional policies and practices discriminate, either consciously or unconsciously, against women. In addition, the challenge to improve the skills and competence of higher education staff is by no means unique to South Africa and is being tackled universally. In 1990, only 39% of the total permanent academic staff in universities had doctorates as their highest formal qualification. For the historically disadvantaged universities, the figures was 30% and for the historically white universities 45%”.

The Commission identifies two trusts as amendable to redress -employment equity and staff development. For the former in line with the Department of Labour Green Paper on Employment and Occupational Equity the Commission recommends that higher education institutions should develop gender and equity goals in a repeatable annual planning process. For the latter the Commission recommends:

· “Support for academic staff to improve their formal qualifications and, in particular, to attain masters and doctoral qualifications (this is of particular importance in the light of the Commission's recommendation to incorporate nursing, agricultural and education colleges into universities and technikons), to develop their research profiles and to enhance their skills in curriculum development, course design and evaluation and teaching methodologies.

· Enhancement of planning and management capacity at institutional, regional and national levels.

· Support for technical, library, information technology and administrative staff to upgrade their skills and expertise.

More specifically the recommendations for development of capacity in key areas are as follows:

a. All higher education institutions should develop human resource development plans, including employment equity goals. These should be submitted to the Higher Education Council (HEC° as supporting documents to the institutions overall three years-plans.

b. The HEC should be charged with responsibility for developing a framework for human resource development in higher education. This will entail the following key functions, some of which may be carried out by the Branch of Higher Education and others by other organisations on agency basis; undertaking an ongoing human resource audit of higher education; publishing an annual equity report on the profile of staff in higher education; assisting and advising institutions on setting and achieving equity goals, and in developing and implementing human resource development policies and programmes (for example, by disseminating “best practice” approaches); and allocating earmarked funding for human resource development, including initiatives designed to enhance academic staff skills in teaching and curriculum development, which should be contingent on submitting development plans to attain equity goals;

c. In view of the importance of educational development in improving student access and success, formula funding provision should recognise the need for institutions to establish and maintain small, professional higher education development structures. The institutional factors in the formula should generate explicit funding for recurrent 'academic development' (AD) teaching initiatives. The AD structures should be responsible for guiding and coordinating AD work at institutional faculty and department level. They should also form the core of a national network designed to foster inter-institutional cooperation and regional and national projects in such matters as access programmes, curriculum and materials design.

d. The HEC should provide policy and development support to promote quality teaching and learning in higher education institutions. This will entail the following key functions, some of which may be carried out by the Branch of Higher Education, and others by varied organisations on an agency basis: the allocation of earmarked funding for developmental projects designed to enhance equitable access and success in higher education, advising higher education institutions on the development of AD programmes, and initiating research and development projects in areas such as access, curriculum and materials design5.

5 NDHE. 1996. A Framework for Transformation. National Commission of Higher Education.

The White Paper on Education and Training (Government Gazette n° 16312 of 15 March 1995) makes also provision on gender equity.

Paragraphs 63 to 69 are relevant and are quoted below:

63. The Constitution recognises the specific nature of gender inequality by establishing a Commission on Gender Equality. The national education system represents the single largest organisation in the nation. By virtue of its educational function, it has great potential influence on gender relations and on the respective career paths of men and women. However, within the education system there are worrying disparities between girls and boys, and many girls and women suffer unfair discrimination and ill-treatment.

64. Boys and young men drop out of schools at a far higher rate than girls and young women. Girls and young women exhibit significantly narrower subject and career choices than boys and young men. Women are overwheemingly represented in the teaching service, but are poorly represented among the ranks of school principals, and are barely in middle and senior management positions in education departments. Such phenomena have long histories and complex causes. The reasons, for the poor representation of women in educational management are probably to be found as much in the values and gender role patterns of South African families and communities, as in the patriarchal culture of the South African bureaucracy.

65. At another level of gender relations, in many schools and other education institutions, including the most senior, social relations among students, and between staff and students, exhibit sexism and male chauvinism. Sexual harassment of girls and women students and women teachers, as well as acts of violence against women, are common in many parts of the education system, both on and off campus.

66. The entire situation must change. While appreciating that the problems are deep-seated within the society at large, the Ministry of Education believes that the place to begin is within the education system itself. The Ministry is confident of forging a strong partnership between itself and the provincial Ministries of Education on this issue, and will seek collaboration also from the technikons and universities. The understanding and support of organisations of the teaching profession and student organisation will be greatly welcomed.

67. As a first step, the Ministry of Education proposes to appoint a Gender Equity Task Team led by a full-time Gender Equity Commissioner who shall report to the Director-General. The terms of reference of the Task Team will be to investigate and advise the Department of Education on the establishment of a permanent Gender Equity Unit in the Department of Education, initially with seconded or attached staff. In cooperation with provincial Departments of Education, through the Heads of Education Departments Committee, the Gender Equity Unit will study and advise the Director-General on all aspects of gender equity in the education system, and in particular:

(1) Identify means of correcting gender imbalances in enrollment, dropout, subject choice, career paths, and performance

(2) Advise on the educational and social desirability and legal implications of single-sex schools

(3) Propose guidelines to address sexism in curricula, textbooks, teaching, and guidance

(4) Propose affirmative action strategies for increasing the representation of women in professional leadership and management positions, and for increasing the influence and authority of women teachers

(5) Propose a complete strategy, including legislation, to counter and eliminate sexism, sexual harassment and violence throughout the education system

(6) Develop close relations with the organised teaching profession, organised student bodies, the Education Labour Relations Council, national women's organisations, and other organisation whose cooperation would be essential in pursuing the aims of the unit.

68. The Gender Equity Commissioner will be expected to establish close working relations with the national Commission on Gender Equality

69. These proposals have been strongly supported by the public in their submissions on the draft of this document. The Ministry of Education intends to put them formally to the Council of Education Ministers without delay, to request their support for cooperative action on gender equity, and their consideration for a similar action within the provincial ministries. Similar requests will be made to the representative bodies of technikons and universities, and to the organizations representing teachers and students.

Based on the above, the Department of Education has established the Gender Equity Task Team. Its terms of reference are to investigate and advise the Department of Education on the establishment of a permanent Gender Equity Unit in the Department of Education. The advice should include, inter alia, the following:

· To investigate and advise on the establishment of a permanent Gender Equity Unit (GEU).

· To advise on the purpose and functions of a GEU if its establishment is recommended, due cognisance being taken of the quoted paragraph 67 of the White Paper.

· If the establishment of a GEU is recommended, advice on its composition, functioning and infrastructure, including a detailed plan for setting it up.

· If the establishment of a GEU is not recommended, advice on how gender matters should be dealt with.

· In giving effect to its terms of reference the national and provincial education departments, providers of education, stakeholders, international education community and the Commission on Gender Equity should be consulted and involved.

The composition of the Task Team should be as follows:

· An interim full-time Gender Equity in Education Commissioner who will act as chairperson.

· Between four and seven Task Team members.

· The appointment of the Task Team will be done by the Minister of Education following

· Nominations obtained from stakeholders, in education, and

· Proposals for appointment made by a selection committee appointed by the Minister

Other measures for the promotion of gender equity include the establishment of gender equity unit within the departments of Justice and Trade and Industry and the establishment of the world's first full-time court for sexual offences. The Court opened in Wyneberg, Cape Town in 1993 to alleviate the trauma that invariably accompanies the hearing of rape cases and to deal with cases more swiftly and effectively. A team approach is adopted which includes not only those involved in the legal process but also social workers, psychologists and medical practitioners.

Policies promotions gender equity appear to permeate the total of the South African society. However, real equality will be dependent on the way in which legal rights are translated into reality.

DESCRIPTION OF SCIENCE EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA

The education system in South Africa is currently in a transition phase. Enrollment policies, curricula, inter-institutional transfers, disciplinary direction and so on are under investigation.

Until recently curricula, although specifying goals, aims of objectives as points of departure were, in fact, content-based. They were organised in terms of prescribed and optional content which was to be offered at specific stages and for fixed periods in institutions of learning. In schools, learners' progress from one class to the next depended largely on the extent to which they had mastered (or memorised) the required content (e.g. fiver of the six subjects, which should include pass marks in two languages). Assessment took place at various points during the year and in year end examinations, but learners could progress from one class to the next at the end of a year only.

Figure 2 shows the system and the way it functioned up until recently. Primary education and the first years of secondary education were compulsory except for the African population. After the first democratic election the State President announced that primary education become compulsory for all the population. Up to Std, 7; general science and mathematics are compulsory subjects at South African schools. From Std 8 onwards, however, students make their own subject choices, and only 60.9% of African Std 8 pupils opted for mathematics in 1994. In the same year, only 32.8% of pupils in Std 10. The girls enrollments in 1994 for Stds 8,9 and 10 was 45.9%, 40.7% and 30.9 respectively while for the boys enrollments were 62%, 43.9% and 35.3%.

Enrollments for physical sciences were worst. Girl enrollments for Stds 8; 9 and 10 for 1994 were 21.4%, 19.2% and 16% while for boys the respective figures were 25.1%, 23.5% and 20.9% These figures should be contrasted with these of the subject of biology where the rates for girls were 80.2%, 81.8% and 84.9% respectively and for boys 80.1%, 81% and 85.3%.

English, Afrikaans and Biology were the top subjects favoured by African pupils (more than 85%) while on the bottom of the list were economics, physical science and accountancy (less than 13%).

In 1994, most African Std 6 and 7 pupils were enrolled for mathematics on the higher grade. About 6% of African pupils in Std 8, 10% in Std 9, and 30% in Std 10 took mathematics on the standard grade. In 1993, 37% of whites, 86% of coloureds and 26% of Indians enrolled for standard- or lower- grade mathematics. For the most part, it appears that pupils prefer to take subjects on the higher grade because a fail on this grade will invariably result in a pass on a lower grade.

Comparatively few African students enrol for mathematics in Std 10. In 1993, for example, only 27.3% took mathematics as a matriculation subject, while 73.2% of whites did. In the same year, 72.2% of Indian and 41.7% of couloured Std 10 pupils enrolled for mathematics. The picture is no different for physical science. The breakdown of enrollments for Std 10 physical science in 1993 showed that only 11.7% of African enrolled for the subject, compared with 49.6% for whites, 40.4% for Indians and 21.2% for couloureds. In 1994, there was a slight improvement in the situation as demonstrated by the fact that 32.9% of African matriculants enrolled for mathematics and 12.7% for exemption, while 41.7% of white and 50.6% of Indian candidates did so.

The enrollments rates in Stds 8, 9 and 10 obviously affect the direction the students follow at university level.

Students can enter university according to the grade in their matriculation exemption. The matriculation exemption concept has been in existence since the establishment of the Joint Matriculation Board (JMB) in 1917, Matriculation exemption is a standardised university entrance requirement, based on certain minimal performance criteria and subject choices in the Std 10 final examinations. Recent recommendations by the NCHE, in a bid to make higher learning accessible to all South Africans, propose the scrapping of matriculation exemption requirements once acceptable alternative selection criteria and mechanisms are in place.

Failure rates by African matriculation candidates are a cause of considerable concern in the country. In 1994, over half of all African candidates (51.5%) failed Std 10 compared to 2.7% for white candidates and 12.5% for coloured candidates. In 1994, over 160 000, or 37% of Africans in Std 10, were repeaters putting extra strain on already crowded classrooms, and costing the country dearly in terms of utilisation of human resources and financial support.

The racial inequality was evident in the success rates in mathematics, and physical science in the matriculation exams. In 1993, a total of 23.957, or 25.2% of African pupils writing the Std 10 mathematics examination passed, compared with 95.4% for whites, 80% for Indians and 78.2% for coloured. Similarly, only 49.9% of African Std 10 candidates writing the physical science examination passed, compared with 98.1% for whites, 97.7% for Indians and 96.5% for coloureds. On average, about 24% of African candidates passed the Std 10 mathematics examination and 45% passed physical science between 1991 and 1994. The relatively higher pass rate in physical science is probably due to the fact that mathematics is a prerequisite subject for physical science, and consequently a smaller and more select number of pupils enrol for physical science. (About 13% of African std 10 pupils are enrolled for physical science compared to 33% for mathematics). On average, about 43% of African Std 10 biology candidates passed between 1991 and 1994, compared to about 88% for the other population groups.

The quality of teachers has been identified as one of the problem issues in the schooling system in the country and the Ministry of Education commissioned the National Teacher Audit.6 The report indicated that training at about 90% of the country's 109 colleges of education failed to prepare student teachers for the challenges of the new South Africa and the 21st century. The audit found that only two-thirds of the teaching force was qualified, that there was little correlation between rank and qualification; and that a serious shortage of mathematics and science teachers existed. The consortium involved in the National Teacher Education Audit defined qualified, unqualified and under-qualified teachers as follows:

· A qualified teacher in South Africa, according to the official norm, is one with at least a Std 10 certificate (M) and a three-year professional qualification (M+3).

· An unqualified teacher has no professional qualifications, but may have an academic qualifications such as a degree.

6 National Department of Education. 1995. National Teacher Education Audit Synthesis Report, Pretoria.

The curriculum has also been identified as a target for reform and the Department of Education has set up the necessary structures for reform.7 The restructuring is based on the Withe Paper on Education and Training of March 1995, which states:

“New flexible and appropriate curricula are needed that cut across traditional divisions of skills and knowledge, with standards defined in terms of learning outcomes and appropriate assessment practices, in order to provide a more meaningful learning experience, and prepare them effectively for life's opportunities and an integrated approach to education and training which will link one level of learning to another and enable successful learners to progress to higher levels without restrictions from any starting point in the education and training system.”

7 Department of Education. 1996 Structures for the Development of National Policy regarding Curricula and Related issues. Department of Education. Pretoria.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FUTURE STRATEGIES AND PLANS

The South African education system is currently in the process of a major overhaul.

The country is moving away from a content-based, prescriptive and inflexible curricula for education towards a system based on curriculum framework (CF°. CF purports to provide norms and standards for curriculum development and design by allowing the development of flexible, relevant learning programmes and materials which take cognisance of particular needs constraints and realities. The proposed CF in South Africa is focused on portability (transferability of credits and qualifications across providers of learning and different economics and professional sectors) and is outcome based.

The higher education system is moving towards an integrated planned approach where funding and regulations will be utilised to rectify racial, gender and disciplinary inequalities.

Gender equality is entrenched in the Constitution and gender equality units and commissions will attempt to identify leverage points and transform the national landscape.

7- APPENDICES

APPENDIX I: WHERE ARE OUR UNIVERSITIES GOING?

South African Journal of Science Vol. 87 June 1997

NEWS AND VIEWS/NUUS EN MENINGS

South African Universities are producing progressively more arts graduates than those in science and engineering.

Many advisory and policy shaping bodies in South Africa have repeatedly commented on the importance of producing appropriately educated manpower. For example, the Economic Advisory Council recommends changing the balance between academic and vocational education, and the Department of Trade and Industry, in its recent “Report of Technology Policy and Strategy” advocated the creation of more technology orientated manpower.

The accompanying figure illustrates trends in the production of graduates by some of the country' universities for the period 1984-1988. Graduates (at both Bachelor and Honours level) of the faculties of Science, Medicine, Agriculture, Dentistry, Veterinary Science and Engineering have been combined in each case where appropriate (science' graduates), and compared with those jointly produced by all the other faculties ('arts' graduates). This relation correlates strongly what might be called the universities' institutional ethos (Ashworth, Higher Education Review, 58-67, (1983). Those universities producing approximately twice as many science as arts graduates are, according to Ashworth, the 'technology universities', those producing roughly equal numbers of each are the 'general universities', and those for which the ratio is about 1:2 are the 'arts universities'.

The graph shows how South African universities are classified according to these criteria using data submitted to the Department of National Education (DNE).

It is evident that South Africa did not have any 'technological' or 'general' universities in 1988 (with the exception of the Medical University of Southern Africa, which is not shown in the graph). What is also conspicuous is the tendency of the universities to produce more arts graduates while producing the same number of science students between 1984 and 1988. Of the 12 universities included in the graph, only one (Durban-Westville) shows a larger increase in the number of science graduates than of arts graduates. The universities of Pretoria, Natal and Orange Free State, that could be classified as 'general' universities in 1984, have clearly been transformed into 'arts' universities (the universities of Vista, Forte Hare and the North, not shown in the graph, lie on the horizontal axis). There can be several reasons for this trend. Students may simply prefer the arts and humanities to science and engineering, and private sector interests may influence disproportionately the expansion of the various faculties. It is also probable that the financing of the universities by the state affects the relative growth of faculties. While there is little to be done about the preferences of the private sector to finance university studies, and any effort to inform school-leavers about the desirability of studying science and technology is a long-term one, the public funding mechanism of the universities appears to need re-examination.

Universities receive funds from two public sources: directly from the Department of National Education, and agency funds from the Scientific Councils. The DNE funds universities according to a formula which takes into consideration the number of students enrolled, degrees awarded, and the publication record. Different amounts are allocated for science and arts students. It seems, however, to cost much less to produce an arts graduate than one in science - for example, a psychology graduate costs about one-tenth of what is needed to produce a graduate engineer at some universities. These differences are not fully reflected in the differentiated fee structure for courses, nor in the DNE's rather complex funding formula, which currently allocates approximately only 50S% more funds per head to subsidize science and engineering students than for those in the social sciences and humanities.

A consequence of this is that South African universities make a higher 'profit' from arts students. It is therefore understandable that, at a time of declining state subsidies to universities, the ratio of arts to science students should be shifting in favour of the former. Should we wish to reverse this trend, as many now advocate, the principal 'policy instrument' available is the DNE's funding formula. (The Scientific Councils appear to be either unable or unwilling to influence the type of graduate students produced by our universities). This formula should be carefully re-examinated if we are to stand any chance of shifting the output of science and arts graduates by our universities to the benefit of the country.

APPENDIX II: THE SCHOOL SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICA


Figure 2: The school system in South Africa

APPENDIX III

FEMALE STUDENTS IN TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

Percentage of enrolments of female students in universities at bachelors and honours

Discipline

1985

1993

Natural sciences

33,6

36,6

Agricultural

17,0

27,1

Engineering

4,1

8,6

Architecture

21,7

26,0

Health sciences

55,0

64,6

Social Sciences

44,7

52,7

Education

56,3

62,5

Business

29,8

39,0

Law

26,6

38,0

Other humanities

55,1

63,4

Percentage of enrolments of female students at technikons at national and national higher diploma (%)

Discipline

1985

1993

Natural Sciences

39,1

35,8

Agricultural

26,8

28,4

Engineering

4,0

4,3

Architecture

19,5

15,5

Health Sciences

56,3

57,4

Social sciences

36,6

52,7

Education

14,2

35,9

Business

31,5

30.3

Law

22,0

45,4

Other humanities

69,1

63,7

APPENDIX IV

FEMALE INSTRUCTORS IN SCIENCE EDUCATION8

8 Cross classification of gender-discipline for staff across the board is not available. The FRD classification provides an indication of women's position in the research field in sciences and engineering in the higher education. The number of instruction/research professionals with permanent appointment by rank, gender and age refer to staff employed at universities across all disciplines.

Percentage of women with a valid FRD rating

Rating

1984

1990

1992

1996

A

0,0

0,0

0,0

2,2

B

4,5

3,3

3,4

4,7

C

4,6

7,8

7,9

9,8

P

0,0

27,8

25,0

25,9

Y

3,6

18,5

21,1

25,0

L

-

-

-

14,7

Number of women with a valid FRD rating

Rating

1984

1990

1992

1996

A

0

0

01

1

B

6

6

6

10

C

13

35

37

54

P

0

5

5

7

Y

5

23

28

40

L

-

-

-

5

Total

24

69

76

117

Total number of applications for evaluation (February 1996) = 2184
Total number of applications from women (February 1996) = (10.9%)

Utilisation of instruction/research professionals (in FTE)

CESM Category

1986

1993

Agriculture and renewable natural resources

56,21

54,96

Architecture and environmental design

78,18

73,36

Arts, visual and performing

197,47

169,33


a. music

10,13

7,84


b. history and visual arts

35,17

37,78


c. all others arts, visual and performing

152,17

123,71

Business, commerce and management sciences

293,47

499,49

Communication

40,44

48,02

Computer science and data processing

99,53

152,30

Education

22,68

37,83

Engineering and engineering and technology

360,39

412,96

Health care and health sciences

101,54

154,28


a. nursing, rehabilitation and therapy, emergency services, hospital and health care administration, public health

21,11

62,56


b. all other health care and health sciences

80,43

91,71

Home economics

79,53

90,59

Industrial arts, trades and technology

48,72

50,18

Languages, linguistics and literature

68,14

91,03

Law

49,95

112,21

Libraries and museums

2,58

8,53

Life sciences and physical sciences

134,99

175,14

Mathematical sciences

91,56

92,52

Military sciences

0,26


Philosophy, religion and theology

0,17

1,33

Physical education, health education and leisure

5,06

6,16

Psychology

13,01

14,26

Public administration and social services

29,78

153,58

Social sciences and social studies

57,60

68,26

TOTAL

1886,34

2473,09

Number of instruction/research professional women (1986)

Rank

Vice Rector

Director

Associate Director

Senior Lecturer

Lecturer

Other

Age

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

M

F

T

<25

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

10

22

32

0

0

0

10

22

32

25-34

1

0

1

27

4

33

72

17

89

356

225

581

0

1

1

456

247

708

35-44

7

0

7

112

12

124

186

31

217

280

136

416

0

1

1

585

180

765

45-54

6

0

6

81

12

93

91

14

105

121

73

194

0

0

0

299

99

398

55-59

2

0

2

32

3

35

25

3

28

32

22

54

0

0

0

91

28

119

60-62

0

0

0

6

1

7

9

3

11

8

4

12

0

1

1

24

8

32

63-65

1

0

1

6

1

7

6

0

6

12

1

13

0

0

0

25

2

27

66-69

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

6

1

7

0

0

0

6

2

8

>70

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

0

3

0

0

0

3

0

3

Total

17

0

17

264

34

298

389

68

457

828

484

1312

0

3

3

1499

588

2087

Participation of Girls and Women in Science, Technical and Vocational Education in the Republic of Benin

Blandine LEGONOU FANOU*

* Sociologist at CBRST - Benin.

According to the final results of the general population and housing census taken in 1992, Benin's population totals 4,919,555 inhabitants, with a predominance 2,525,219 females representing 51.37% of the total population. The female population is growing at a rate of 3.39%, which is much higher than Benin's feeble yearly average growth rate for school attendance, at just 2.3%.

The educational program is composed of the following levels: preschool, elementary, secondary and higher education.

Current Trends in School Attendance for Girls and Women in the Education System (Technical and Vocational)

Although the Government of Benin favors the principle of equal opportunity in education and training, in reality, in the formal educational system, the overall school attendance rate for females in elementary school represents just a little more than half of that for males and remains stationary (42.3 in 1989 compared to 42.65 in 1993).

The country's literacy rate is 29%, with a wide gap between the rate for the female population and that of the male population at 19% and 39%, respectively.

There is a much higher dropout rate for girls, with an imbalance between the urban centers and the rural centers. In light of this situation, the government has taken a measure to encourage girls to attend school in the rural zones, by exonerating them from payment of school fees at the primary level.

As for secondary education, girls represent only 30% of those who sign up in the first cycle, and 20% of those in the second cycle. At the baccalaureate, girls represent scarcely 20% of the students who register and pass. The attrition rate for girls at the end of the secondary cycle is very high. This situation is explained by girls' hard living conditions and inadequate academic results. This is compounded by society's attitudes and behavior about school for girls, by girls' poor self-image and the lack of models with whom they can identify.

At the higher education level, things are not any better. In 1986, girls represented only 17.7% of all the students. Today, they represent only 15%. Their poor representation in the technical fields is also worthy of note. At the Institut National d'Economie, at the Complexe Polytechnique Universitaire (CPU) as well as the School of Agronomy, they represent less than 10% of enrolment.

Technical and vocational education until 1986 had never attracted more than 6% of the students in middle-level (secondary) education. Secondary Technical and Vocational Education (EMTP) is dominated by private establishments, which provide 40% of students in Level 1. The school attendance rate for females in this type of education is 25.7%, and it must be noted that they are oriented for the most part towards MANAGEMENT and HEALTH. Likewise, women who have received diplomas in technical and vocational education make up just a tiny minority of the whole, since the proportion of girls to boys at registration is already very low. In 1984, no girls received industrial degrees (DTI). Among the graduates from the Mi Agricultural High School of Su, just one girl was on the list compared to 42 boys. In management and in health, the proportion of girls was 17.5% and 48%, respectively. The number of girls who register for such courses is already very low compared to the boys who register. In 1984 girls represented scarcely one-fourth of the roster in the area of Industry, and only one-third in the Management area.

Student enrolment in technical and vocational fields by sex and by option is shown below:

Table A: Student enrolment in technical and vocational fields by sex and by option

Type/Options

Girls

Total

Percentage of
Girls (%)

STAG

938

2225

42.15

STI

50

1682

2.97

STA

61

490

12.44

HEALTH

352

564

62.40

HOME ECONOMICS

32

52

61.50

HOTEL

40

41

97.50

TOTAL

1473

5054

29.00

Source: Direction des Enseignements Moyen Technique et Professionnel (Bureau of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education)

STAG: Science et Technique de l'Agriculture

STI: Science et Technique Industrielle

STA: Science et Technique Administrative

HOME ECONOMICS: Economie Familiale et Sociale

Girls are practically nonexistent in the industrial areas. On the other hand, many specialize in the fields of hotel services, health and home economics, exceeding the number of boys. The results of the CAP (Industrial option.) exams for June-July 1996 were not very strong for girls:

Table B: Results of CAP examens (industrial option in 1996)

Option

Passed

Girls

Percentage
of Girls (%)

HOME ECONOMICS

10

7

70.00

COOK

15

14

93.30

GEN. MECHANICS

20

1

5.00

ELECTRICITY

20

0

0

AUTO MECHANIC

20

0

0

DRAFTSMAN

20

4

20.00

MASONRY

20

0

0

CARPENTRY

20

0

0

A.D. CONSTRUCTION

14

1

7.14

Source: Direction des Enseignements Moyen Technique et Professionnel (Bureau of Secondary Technical and Vocational Education)

Current Trends in Job Opportunities for Girls and Women and Perspectives for Girls' and Women's Roles in Socioeconomic Development

The low school attendance rate for girls and the female dropout rate partly explain the near-total absence of women in the modern sector, characterized by a clear preference for the civil service sector, where the female labor force is still very poorly represented, and even less in the private sector.

Concerning the evolution of female employment in the government sector, women take up posts chiefly in primary and secondary education, administration, public health and the support/paramedical personnel. In contrast, they are hard to find in the offices of public works (40), in statistics and planning (33), in meteorology or civil aviation (1). It is the men who dominate in all these skills.

Just like the school situation for girls, women in education represent only a low percentage of all teachers, and are unequally represented in the various teaching areas; however, statistics by “gender” are not available.

Teachers in primary school represent only 25% of all educators at that level.

Nonetheless, with the new economic status, one observes that the number of girls in formal technical education (high schools and colleges, training centers of companies such as OCBN, CENAPOC, SBEE, CPPE or the informal sector (training in the informal sector: within the family and among craftsmen) is on the rise. This would mean that girls are looking for a skill, a trade. However, this is not enough to guarantee the effectiveness of equal opportunity in Benin, for putting everyone in the same conditions is not enough to afford the same chances to them; rather, everyone must be given a chance to succeed, while considering his or her handicaps to doing so. Indeed, for girls, the most important factor lies in their studying and working conditions, which do not consider their specific problems. However, one can consider that in the Cotonou region, there are twice as many women as men in nursery school, the only teaching area in which there is a high proportion of women.

Worse than for primary education, women represent only 20% of all career teachers and 11% of substitutes in secondary education.

As concerns technical education, statistics by gender are not available, but considering the low number of girls in this area, and especially in the industrial specialties, there are also very few female instructors. In the formal apprenticeship sector, female instructors are also rare in the industrial stream.

In higher education, statistics broken down by gender are also unavailable. Nonetheless, at the CPU, women represent about 8% of the staff.

Promoting equal opportunities between men and women in Benin means a priori that a higher number of women must be allowed to get into school and remain there as long as possible. It also means developing the training modes currently accessible to women and helping them orient themselves toward lucrative activities.

The International Year of Women (1975), the global conferences held in Mexico in 1975, in Copenhagen in 1980 and the United Nations Decade for Women (1976-1985) have contributed to attenuating obstacles for the promotion of women at the regional and international levels. This determination by the international community to promote women is manifested through legal instruments, such as:

Convention N° 100 on the equality of salaries and Convention 111 on vocational equality;

The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, adopted in December 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly, which went into effect in September 1981.

In 1984, Benin ratified its convention on the elimination of every form of discrimination against women. They have the right to vote and of eligibility. The objectives of the Decade of Equality-Development-Employment are closely linked to jobs, health and education.

Benin's fundamental law, its new constitution and its labor code all guarantee a working woman the right to maternity leave while continuing to receive her salary.

In 1986, Benin also signed the African Charter of Human and People's Rights. In Article 18, this charter focuses on the protection of the family, and particularly on women and children's rights.

These various aspects of global changes and diverse instruments have undoubtedly supported and oriented the efforts of Benin's public authorities towards improving the condition of women through national legislation. At the same time, the impact of these different socio-political changes on the status of women situation is still limited due to the latter's low educational level and to their increased responsibilities at home; the number of women heads of household has risen considerably, while their participation in decision-making actions and thus in initiatives affecting community life on the whole, is very low.

Regarding unemployment in the urban setting, statistics show that women represent 6% of workers in the private sector and 90% of those in the informal sector. In the government sector, the proportion of women to men is as follows:

Table C: Percentage of women in public sector

Departments

Men (%)

Women (%)

Rural Development

88.30

11.70

Equipment and Transport

86.50

13.45

President's Office

82.30

17.80

Labor, Social Affairs

48.42

51.38

Health

53.40

46.62

Education

79.38

20.62

Source: Civil Service Bureau, 1993

There are very few women in the Ministries of Rural Development, Equipment and Transport and at the Presidential Office. On the other hand, at the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Social Affairs, they constitute 51.38% of the staff, and nearly 50% of those in the Health Ministry. On the whole, they are most often office workers or administrative and commercial type workers. They are found in the sectors of health (15.4% of them), social affairs and education (44.4%). There are not many women working in rural development (6% of women workers) or at the Ministry of Finance (8% among them). In the breakdown of permanent civil servants, women represent only 18.8% of managerial staff in category A, while in category B, they represent 21.7%. Categories C and D include 30% and 35% of women, respectively. For the most part, they are found at the lower skills level; indeed, of the entire corps of permanent female civil servants, only 11% are classed in category A and 15.6% in Category B, while 50% are found in Category C and 25% in Category D. There is a large female work force in the offices of public health, primary education and public administration, but women are rare in public works (40), in statistics and planning (33), in meteorology and civil aviation (1), and in the liberal professions. The table below shows how they are distributed in the liberal professions:

Table D: Percentage of women in some professions

Type

Staff; Total # of Women

% of Women

Lawyer

63 11

17.50

Apprentice Lawyer

10 02

20.00

Bailiff

05 02

40.00

Pharmacist

77 38

19.40

Architect

92 03

3.26

Notary

06 01

16.66

Source: Parquet General - Laboratories et Pharmacies Directorate, quoted by “Situation dgraphique, politique et programmes de population au Benin,” p. 56

Hence, the integration of women into the modern sector in general and private in particular, has not really occurred yet. “Gender stereotyping,” attitudes and behavior towards women working, constitute the principal hindrances against women gaining access to lucrative activities. Social and sexual division on the job thereby distances women from certain trades, under the pretext that they are too weak physically, that they lack enough schooling, or based on prejudices related to the social acceptability of certain types of work for women.

However, in the urban as well as the rural areas, women are very important and play major roles in every aspect of economic activity in the unstructured sector, where no specialized training is required. They lean chiefly towards commerce, then to the artisanal trades (sewing, embroidery, hair dressing, restaurant services). In these areas, one is taken under the arm for apprenticeship by a (female) boss. Girls and very young mothers usually turn to these practices. In the cities, one finds women who help in retail or are hired as domestics. Finally, others go from house to house to solicit work (washing laundry or dishes). In the commercial area, one finds vendors of cloths, drinks, cooking tools, shoes, etc. These women reap very high profits and are well-known at banks. Another major group consists of the little merchants, including retailers.

In the rural zone, women handle domestic work, trade, crafts work, school activities and part of farm work. With regard to farm work, apart from clearing and working the land, women are called upon for all the other operations: sowing, weeding, transport, storage and sale of products. The so-called sexual distribution of labor should have considered the morphological differences in male and female. Since the woman is supposed to be so weak, she shouldn't be able to handle certain tasks - and yet, she is the one to carry the heavy loads at harvest, it is she who goes out in search of water and who conducts trade. Therefore, this is not a natural division of labor but social division based on culture.

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE FACTORS DETERMINING GIRLS' ORIENTATION TOWARDS SCIENCE, TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

A study we conducted in 1993 in the framework of a research project on West African women's access to vocational training and to income-generating activities (ACCESSFEM) attempted to shed light on the process which leads some women to engage in income-generating activities in nontraditional areas for them. It was shown that in their academic and vocational background, the factors that have encouraged women to embrace such vocational careers can be grouped into three categories.

One notes the preponderant role of these unconventional women's familial and social environment on their academic curriculum and professional orientation: their determination and will to step off the beaten path, their family origins characterized by a science and technical tradition, and their social environment. Either family predispositions orient their daughters as early as primary school, or an opportunity arises to enter that profession and they grabbed it.

One, also observes that family tradition plays a central part in one's vocational choice. These activities could almost be called hereditary, because they are handed down from father to daughter or from mother to daughter. The lucrative aspect could in the end also be a decisive factor in their vocational choice. In all, predispositions for a career, family tradition in the trade, and the desire to step off the beaten path, constitute the major factors determining women's professional options.

Another study that was part of an extension of the ACCESSFEM research-action programme aiming to increase women's participation in technical education and employment and conducted by Mrs. Marguerite AKOSSI MVONGO, attempted:

1. Regarding the acquisition of knowledge, to set up a curriculum for technical education and its connection with general education;

2. At the conscience-raising level, to encourage decision makers, employers, instructors and nongovernmental organizations to pay greater attention to the barriers preventing women from having the same chances for access to training and jobs as men.

3. Finally, as concerns actions to be taken, to identify the strategies, policies and measures that can promote equal opportunities between girls and boys.

One can distinguish the actions to be developed in a triple action plan.

At the sensitization level, women are apparently ready to diversify their vocational choices. When listening to girls, one realizes that gender-based representation of vocational activities depends especially on those who have a choice. For the others, it is a matter of being trained in a lucrative trade. Hence, most conscious-raising activity could focus on making the girls realize the problems women face, and particularly the burden of “double days,” “without, however, rocking the boat. It is enough to set priorities, and the adjustment in households will take place little by little.” In fact, the burden of a double day's work for women appears to be less of an obstacle than the economic constraints and the limitations in training. For the latter, relevant information on various trades should be disseminated as early as primary school.

At the level of improvement of the educational system, it is impossible to improve yields without new investments and a redefinition of priorities. What are the most lucrative sectors?

As far as concrete measures are concerned, it is important, considering the barriers preventing women from widening their horizons, that positive discriminatory measures be foreseen: scholarships for girls, creation of boarding schools for girls, helping to find jobs for those who have learned a trade, helping girls to enter into apprenticeships in non-traditional areas.

Despite the actions of numerous NGOs and the existence of many bilateral and multilateral projects, unless strong measures are taken, the odds will be stacked against the development of schooling for girls and the improvement of conditions for female teachers.

CURRENT MEASURES TO ACHIEVE EQUAL ACCESS FOR GIRLS TO SCIENCE, TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION - STRATEGIES AND FUTURE PLANS

In the absence of a national policy for the integration of the “female” dimension into current policies and national development plans, the action plans prepared in the scope of the national report on the evolution of women's status in Benin, proposes the following for equal access to education for both men and women:

- improvement in the literacy rate for women and the promotion of functional literacy properly adapted to women's needs;

- reinforcement of measures encouraging school attendance for girls (extension of measures guaranteeing free schooling for girls to the other levels of education, adaptation of teaching to living conditions: the school of life);

- the promotion of technical and vocational training for women, by:

1) Setting up suitable mechanisms for academic and vocational orientation. These organs should encourage the orientation of girls towards areas not traditionally reserved for their sex (auto mechanics, welding...). Some steps are being taken which, once put into operation, will favor girls' access to and an increase in their numbers in technical and vocational education. This will be achieved by awarding prizes to the ten girls receiving the best results at end-of-year exams, in addition to making special concessions for girls entering the secondary cycle at a late age, and the creation of boarding schools for girls in technical schools (agricultural education);

2) Setting up complementary measures to encourage girls to integrate the technical branches; i.e, grants, aid from the State or from the private sector;

3) Promoting suitable behavioral changes starting with the family and IEC policies encouraging non-sexist education;

4) Organizing the “apprenticeship” sector, with instruments for orientation and information on lucrative outlets.

The measures recommended for employment are:

· Expand opportunities for women, increasing their access to information on good income-generating outlets and how to access them, support of mobilization of funds, relations networks, organization of support structures to help women gain access to lucrative outlets;

· Persuade women to participate in better organization of the supply markets and marketing;

· Implicate women in the preparation of any policy promoting small and middle-sized enterprises and which facilitate their access to loans;

· Expand training opportunities for women: basic instruction, secondary, higher and vocational training, dissemination of information about the growing number of women who head companies;

· Provide technical and financial support for women's initiatives and institute positive discrimination in favor of women to help them gain access to good income-generating jobs, through suitable training and acquisition of experience.

SCHOOL ENROLMENT IN TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION BY GENDER AND BY OPTION 1995 - 1996

Nature

Cycle I

Cycle II

Total

Options

1st A

2nd A

3rd A

4th A

Total

1st A

2nd A

3rd A

4th A

Total

CI=CII


F

T

F

T

F

T

F

T

F

T

P

T

F

T

F

T

F

T

F

T

P

T

STAG

98

168

83

139

91

141

-

-

272

448

256

655

133

367

277

755

-

-

666

1777

938

2225

STI

6

359

10

323

18

428

-

-

34

1110

4

169

3

128

9

275

-

-

16

572

50

1682

STA

16

91

6

94

13

76

14

66

49

3327

3

45

3

42

5

43

1

33

12

163

61

490

HEALTH

46

71

55

77

31

53

-

-

132

201

85

143

85

130

50

90

-

-

220

363

352

564

HOME
ECONOMICS

-

-

-

-

8

1 1

-

-

8

11

6

8

9

14

9

19

-

-

24

41

32

52

HOTEL

12

13

10

10

18

18

-

-

40

41

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

40

41

TOTAL

178

702

164

643

179

727

14

66

535

2138

354

1020

233

681

350

1182

1

33

938

2916

1473

5054

Promotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Africa a Case Study of Burundi

Oscar BAZIKAMWE*

* Technical Adviser of the Ministry of Education, Basic Education and Adult Literacy.

A historical look back at the status of girls in BURUNDI reveals decisive factors in attempting to explain various disparities.

Traditionally, the ultimate goal of education differed for girls compared to boys. It aimed at developing the specific potentialities of women, which was dictated by “... the passionate interest she has in all that concerns children and the household...” Her instruction was thus supposed to correspond to her “nature.”

Certain factors have influenced and indubitably continue to influence schooling for girls:

- The traditional status of woman as procreator and producer obliges her to occupy a preponderant place as mother, wife and worker. She quickly enters conjugal life and is called upon to maintain the equilibrium of the family and of society (bringing up the children, taking care of the household, health care, working in the fields, carrying water, looking for and carrying wood, etc...).

- In traditional society, the status of the woman is governed by customary law, as defined and exercised by men. Other than the power that is conferred upon a clan by its numerous offspring, children have an important socio-economic value. A woman only earns respect and consideration in her husband's family if she brings children into the world, and preferably boy children. That is also the condition which allows her to enjoy family heritage if she becomes widowed. At the same time, the more daughters she has, the more they can lighten her load by contributing to farm and household work. Although no blatant discrimination can now be found in legal texts, nowhere does one see any degree of sensitivity about the issue of sexual differentiation in favor of or against education for girls and women.

In the framework of the Government of Burundi's policy established in 1981 and aimed at achieving school for all children aged 7 and keeping them in school up to the end of the primary cycle, one must stress schooling for the girl child, who is still disadvantaged today by the Burundian educational system (Cf. Table 1).

Table 1: Gross School Attendance Rates According to Province and Gender, 1990/1991 Province: Gross School Attendance Rate


OVERALL %

BOYS %

GIRLS %

1 BUBANZA

64

75

52

2 BUJUMBURA

91

98

84

3 BURURI

111

127

96

4 CANKUZO

79

87

72

5 CIBITOKE

64

76

53

6 GITEGA

86

89

83

7 KARUZI

54

60

49

8 KAYANZA

62

66

59

9 KIRUNGO

54

65

43

10 MAKAMBA

83

97

68

11 MURAMVYA

105

113

97

12 MUYINGA

56

64

49

13 NGOZI

65

69

61

14 RUTANA

61

76

47

15 RUYIGI

64

72

57

16 BURUNDI

75

83

67

Source: Bureau of Education Planning (MEPS)

Just like nearly everywhere else in Africa, the pitfalls to schooling for girls are founded on historical, cultural and economic reasons.

* The Burden of History

History determines the backward situation of women in two ways: first, by the fact that schools for girls were opened late and were single-sex, and secondly by discrimination of the female sex within school establishments, and the content of what was taught.

Girls' schools were actually opened when the Belgian nuns arrived, some 20 to 30 years after the Belgian monks. The segregation of sexes in the school also prevented a good number of girls from going to school because they lived too far away. Indeed, schools for girls were built only next to the major missionary centers. Coed schools were only permitted in 1973-74, when, with the social crisis, the State was obliged to gradually take primary and secondary education under command.

Discrimination is not found only in placing girls in schools, but also within the establishments and in the content of teaching material.

Within the academic structures, girls were not allowed to go into the 2nd cycle of primary, or “selected” school in the 50s, for the simple reason that they were not supposed to go on to secondary school and certainly not to higher education.

Following is a relatively recent statement (1958) taken from a report by experts from the University of Liege who had studied the “Issue of Education in RWANDA-BURUNDI.” Education for women is not dominated by this urgent need to train them for entry into a university. For this little girl who had “scarcely emerged from the Neolithic age,” one must, says the report, “spare her from the danger of mental imbalance if she proceeds as quickly as boys; all she really needs is to learn mainly household-related matters.”

* The Burden of Culture

This burden has actually diminished, thanks to higher school attendance and literacy programmes. But, it is still very present in the peripheral regions which were scarcely touched by the missionaries and received little investment as far as modern structures are concerned.

If the taboos burdening women have today lost their punch, traditional oral literature, which is still very much alive, still transmits ideas about the inferiority of women. According to traditional tales, it would seem that the woman is not as intelligent or as logical as a man. “The hen does not crow when the cock is around,” says a proverb which is still quoted in conversations and used by judges (who are mainly males) as an argument in arbitration over family conflicts.

In reality, women are comforted neither in tradition nor in modern times. The equality of the sexes is far from being recognized in thought or in deed. History, despite it occasional brusque changes, cannot ignore current cultural tendencies.

* Economic constraints

As for economic constraints, it is worth pointing out that 3/4 of domestic work and field work is done by girls and women. Parents are hard put to separate themselves from this precious labour. Due to technological backwardness, it is not yet possible to liberate girls and women from the burdensome tasks of drawing water, looking for firewood and doing other strenuous domestic work.

Perspectives on the Role of Girls and Women in Socioeconomic Development

It is very clear that women, who represent 52% of the Burundian population, are at the heart of the socioeconomic development process; consequently, one must begin to awaken to the fact that most of the development programmes have often pushed them off to the side.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, probably more than anywhere else in the world, women handle the lion's share of farm work. This is certainly true in Burundi. Very special attention must therefore been given to the little girl, who is simultaneously woman and child.

There is a pressing need for relevant basic education programmes directly linked to everyday living practices, to the production of income and to the capacity to adjust to constantly-changing living conditions.

Today, certain public or private organizations have undertaken training activities focussing on business for women, to enable them to organize themselves and to set up their own small businesses.

Specifically, this involves:

- The Support Project for the Advancement of Women;
- The Urban Project for Women;
- The Association for the Economic Promotion of Women.

These organizations conduct training and supervisory activities for women's groups around income-generating activities, such as small trade, farm product processing, mills management, and livestock raising. In this way, Burundi conducts activities favoring girls and women. Women now make up nearly half of the teaching corps (more than 80% in the capital) - but there is still a long way to go.

Current Trends in Employment Opportunities for Girls and Women

If it is true that to this day, women have scarcely provided what are customarily called “cadres” in society, it is because customs and traditions have most often gone against them. However, conditions have changed, and today, women have access or at least can gain access to more varied situations, and to higher positions. They are judges, university professors, doctors, ministers, etc. Nonetheless, the physiological conditions, physical aptitudes as well as the necessities of living in society are such and shall perhaps remain such that women have a different professional yield than men.

We would like to point out that there are very few job opportunities for uneducated girls and women. In the rural environment, the women's groups and cooperatives often experiment with different projects, but run into problems because their members are illiterate.

In the urban setting, educated women do not encounter major problems for finding jobs, yet they represent only 40% of civil servants, and are found mainly in the health and education sectors.

Table 2: Positions of Responsibility in the Administration, 1990

Position

Women

Men

% Women

Total

- Minister

2

22

9,1


- Cabinet Heat

0

27

0


- Governor

0

15

0


- Managing Director

2

17

2,6


- Department Director

14

185

7,6


- Advisor

17

134

12,7


- Secretary General

0

3

0


- Communal Administr.

0

114

0


TOTAL

35

577

6 %

612

Source: Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training

Things have changed a lot since 1993 in parliament, where women deputies now represent more than 10% of that body.

Current Trends in Girls' Participation in Science Subjects in School

For reasons related to culture, one finds much fewer girls in the science and technical streams, and more of them in the teaching and social areas. The same tendency is observed at the higher educational level.

Table 3 - Percentage of Girls in the Various Curricula in 1992-93

General
Education
Science
A+ B

General
Education
Humanities

Teaching High
Schools

Technical
Education,
Long Cycles

24 %

35 %

49 %

35 %

Table 4: Female Enrolment in the Scientific Sections - General and Communal Secondary, 2nd Cycle

Year of Study

F

M+F

% Girls

- 3rd Scientific

376

1541

24,3

- 2nd Scientific A+B

256

1208

21,3

- 1st Scientific A

26

198

13,1

- 1st Scientific B

228

815

28,0

Total 2nd Cycle

887

3762

24.0

Source: The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Statistics Yearbook, 1992/1993

NB: In the A Scientific Section, a lot of importance is given to the following disciplines: mathematics, physics, scientific drawing. For Scientific Section B, much scoring weight is given to biology, chemistry and mathematics.

What can be drawn from these two tables is that girls' participation in the sciences subjects remains lower than that of boys. This will also have an impact on the higher educational level, as is revealed in Table 5.

For the 1994-95 academic year, the University of Burundi had a female student enrolment of 1,279 students, or 27.29% of the total.

When we look at Table 5, we note that girls' participation in certain scientific sections leaves much to be desired. Certain sections fail to attract them, such as electro-mechanics, civil engineering, town planning, polytechnic, geology, agronomy, and so on.

Table 5: Female Enrolment in the Different Schools and Institutes

1 Schools/Institutes

SEX

SEX

% of Girls


F

M+F


1. Law

123

529

23,2

2. Agronomy

38

233

16,3

3. IPA: Institute of Applied

*

*

*

- Pedagogy

79

279

28,3

- English - Kirundi

16

54


- Biology - Chemistry

17

51


- Mathematics

17

50


- Physics - Technology

0

25


- French

29

99


4. ITS: Institute of Higher

1

174

0,5

- Pedagogy

*

*


- Electro-mechanics

1

75


- Civil Engineering

0

52


- Housing and Development

0

47


5. ISA: Higher Institute of Agriculture

30

231

12,9

6. The Sciences

85

348

24,4

- Biology

28

83


- Chemistry

13

52


- Geology

2

20


- Polytechnic A

2

23


- Polytechnic B

16

80


- Mathematics

13

34


- Physics

10

33


- Civil Engineering

1

23


7. Applied Sciences

2

51

3.9

- Electro-Mechanics

2

23


- Civil Engineering

0

28


8. Medicine

56

212

26.4

9. Economics

148

486

30,4

10. Institute of Commerce

272

532

51,1

11. Institute of Physical Education

5

136

3,6

12. Educational Sciences

104

298

34,8

13. The Arts & Humanities

153

602

25,4

Source: Ministry of Secondary and Higher Education and of Scientific Research (1994-1995)

On the other hand, girls sign up in great numbers in the short-term institutions: 51.1% at the Trade Institute. One has the impression that girls are much more interested than boys in commercial and social activities.

Boys are more interested in the other areas, particularly the sciences, technical subjects, business and sports.

Current Employment Trends for Women in the Teaching Profession

While educated women do not encounter any major problems in finding jobs, just as in most African countries, they are still confined to the health and education sectors. Nonetheless, female teachers are primarily in the minority in the technical and vocational sector.

Theoretically, men and women have equal chances to enter the profession, and for possibilities of advancement in the sector.

At the primary education level, we observe a spectacular feminization of the teaching corps since the 1970s (Cf. Table 6 in appendix).

The teaching corps consists of 49 % women and 51 % men, with a heavy concentration of female teachers in the urban centers. This is explained by the fact that many are married to civil servants who are assigned to the city. This proportion is highly variable, depending on the provinces. As for school directors' posts, they are assigned chiefly to men (women occupy only 6 % of director's positions).

At the general secondary and technical level, this trend towards feminization does not follow the same rhythm, and even less so in the scientific sections. (Cf. Table 7 in appendix).

The percentages in the table were calculated based on data provided in the Planning Bureau Statistics Yearbook. Based on this table, we observe that women teachers arc in the minority in technical education (5% in all). The same trend is observed at the University, where science courses are dispensed exclusively by men. A survey completed in 1990 by the Department of Scientific Research of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education clearly corroborates this. Out of 755 scientists accounted for in the various sectors, only 108 are women, or 14.3%.

Current Enrolment Trends of Girls and Women in the Technical and Vocational Education System

In Burundi, only 20% of those who terminate the primary cycle manage to enter secondary school, and the technical and vocational training system receives only a small portion of them: on the average, only 1 to 5% of the students in secondary enroll in those areas. Technical and vocational education thereby occupy a tiny place compared to general education. The 80% who cannot get into the secondary level repeat the year; otherwise, their only resource of vocational training is traditional apprenticeship. For girls, the school enrolment rate, which is already low at the primary and general secondary levels, drops even more for technical and vocational education.

In fact, female participation, particularly in the so-called masculine streams (industrial sections), too often encounters a plethora of cultural prejudices and stereotypes, besides the general obstacles that prevent girls from attending school.

Moreover, technical education has always been handicapped by its poor social image, as the technical subjects are considered by the public to be those set aside for failures.

FACTORS DETERMINING GIRLS' ORIENTATION TOWARDS SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION

Sociological Factors

Statistics show that today, only about 25% of girls have access to scientific, technical and vocational education. This proportion falls to less than 5% in certain “masculine” sections. One might attribute these inequalities to cultural, religious or traditional reasons, but most often are sociological in origin. The obstacles or inequalities come from the entire Burundian society, and include encouraging girls to choose subjects traditionally considered to be “feminine.” Girls have signed up in large numbers in the streams preparing them for service-oriented employment.

Indeed, since childhood, the Burundian girl child is conditioned - through her games and toys as well as by the help she gives to her mother and by imitating her - to prepare for her future roles set by society: that of wife and mother. The orientation of the male child since his earliest days is altogether different. His games and toys correspond either to purely ludic and sports-related activities aimed to fully develop his physical capacities and that of initiatory and self-defensive actions, or to the imitation of various so-called “masculine” trades such as that of the mechanic, mason, driver, pilot, etc. This leads us to affirm that it is this fundamental difference in the way that boys and girls are raised and educated that subsequently determines their lifetime attitudes and orientation.

Economic Factors

Burundi's modest economic expansion in the 1970s encouraged the emergence of a few parastatal companies in several national sectors, which also favored the creation of jobs in the sociological, technical and administrative sections. Those jobs were occupied essentially by female graduates of secondary technical schools. Of course, there were also male graduates, but contrary to young women, the men nurtured an ambition to go as far as possible in their studies.

Moreover, although technical and vocational type education in the past was not fully appreciated compared to general education, more recently, a reverse trend has been observed: the austerity measures linked to application of the SAP since 1986 have brought about the unemployment of graduates from higher institutions, while middle-level management graduates from the technical school have not been directly affected by this situation. Whence a predilection for technically-oriented studies for boys as well as for girls, but with a relative increase in girls towards this type of education (everything remaining the same in other areas).

However, due to the current socioeconomic situation, the job markets in the Civil Service and other state-run sectors are saturated, and no longer offer the same opportunities as in the past. This propels girls increasingly to enter so-called boys' schools; consequently, more girls are frequenting technical schools that lead them into various trades.

Factors Linked to Employ ability

Earlier, we pointed out girls' preference for a certain type of technical education for reasons linked to their opportunity for gaining access to jobs. In this section, one could emphasize the technical schools of management, administration and trade, which are somewhat overly solicited by girls for reasons already mentioned. Training is short-termed, but it also leads them directly into careers matching most of the young women's aspirations. Hence, for example, the possibility of using a computer as the secretary in a manager's office might make one hope for access to other more lucrative positions, whether at the private, governmental, even regional or international level.

Educational Factors

Traditionally, girls had a tendency to follow the course of general education (except for a few technical schools, such as those for medicine, social services and home economics) by mimicry or identification with the local model, i.e., with their elders, who also concentrated on general education. Indeed, it has not always been easy for them to step off the beaten path.

CURRENT MEASURES TO PROMOTE EQUAL ACCESS OF GIRLS TO SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION AND TO TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING

Indubitably, the field of scientific, technical and vocational training constitutes an outlet for the creation of jobs, the promotion of self-development and also the generation of income, especially for the young.

The financial constraints and major challenges to the development of Burundi have led to a sharp drop in girls'enrolment levels in technical and vocational education. Even the streams that do exist are not adequately diversified, and do not take job market needs into account.

Today, the government is coming around, and special attention is being given to scientific and technical education, which are vital components of basic education.

The formulation of a national policy for the promotion of girls' access to technical and vocational education responds to a vital concern of the government, considering that Burundian girls constitute a very large portion of the country's population.

Nonetheless, there is still a plethora of pitfalls hindering the promotion of these subjects in school. The lack of access to formal education beyond primary school is a primary obstacle.

Strategies:

- Organize the monitoring required to ensure higher success for girls, above all to avoid a high attrition rate and raise the level for passing from primary school into secondary school;

- Attenuate the constraints related to low schooling rates for girls and propose effective solutions;

- Focus on efforts to favor informal education, given that the majority of girls and women never go to school or leave it very early on.

Orientation and Counselling

The Planning Bureau's School Orientation Service is responsible for informing future graduates and their parents about the different options open to them, why it would be interesting to follow certain streams, and the job opportunities for the various vocational specializations.

As for the Bureau of Technical Education, it has the task of conducting campaigns to promote technical/vocational training.

At the same time, it is regrettable that these services do not dispose of the necessary measures to inform and sensitize girls about the ultimate goals and requirements of scientific, technical and vocational education. Neither do girls receive advice about job opportunities in the world of work after they finishing training.

Innovative practices do exist, but considering the complexity of the problem, one should not expect school alone to effect a change in mentalities and negative attitudes about this type of education.

Incentives Measures in Favor of Employment

It is imperative to find and develop new forms of vocational education, to encourage training that leads to income-generating activity, to create micro-businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises, and to initiate related measures that will allow the National Policy for the Development of Crafts to be implemented in regional centres promoted as poles of economic development.

The government intends to support the different women's associations by granting them small loans to help them organize and set up their small businesses.

SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT SCIENCE EDUCATION AT THE DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL LEVELS

The objectives pursued in science education differ from one level to the other:

a) In primary school, pupils get in touch with the world of science at a very early age, and learn to observe and write about their environment. Science courses begin in the first year with the course, “Studying Our Environment.”

b) In secondary school, the student is initiated to scientific procedures. Students learn how to observe, how to handle objects and to adopt a positive attitude when faced with a scientific problem. At this level, the natural sciences are taught separately. The main subjects of a scientific and technical nature that are taught are: Mathematics - Biology - Chemistry - Physics - Agriculture - Technology - Practical Work - Sciences -Practical Farm Work - Scientific Drawing.

c) In higher institutions of learning, more specialized learning is involved, with in-depth courses based on mathematics and modelling.

In technology, the student is given the means to apprehend her/his everyday milieu, and to understand so that s/he can later master it and make it evolve in a positive fashion. Technological behaviour must induce the student to change his/her behavior towards his/her environment, his/her future and him/herself. This is achieved by learning the rules enabling him/her to do manual labor and minor repairs.

The teaching of the sciences such as biology, chemistry and physics is based on inductive pedagogy, which advocates observation and experimentation, and privileges the student's participation in class. The structure and content of the science programmes are constantly improved according to the needs perceived by the partners in education.

· Science education in Burundi is obligatory.

The teaching of the sciences must be perceived as a factor of development. It is true that such education is demanding. It must be dispensed in the appropriate spaces; laboratories or science classrooms, where the teacher can prepare and organize his experiments, either by demonstration or by practical, on-hands work with his students.

· Sciences = Integrated Subjects

The general orientation since 1976 towards Scientific, Technological and Mathematics education give prime place to the formation of reasoning through the concrete study of resources and the means available in one's surroundings.

In Physics and Chemistry, in the lower cycle, courses integrate demonstration experiments; in the upper cycle, courses are rounded out by a limited amount of practical work.

In Biology, in order to make the best use of the local environment's resources, students are induced to think about their surroundings from an ecological perspective.

In Technology, the teaching methodology supports the development of exact reasoning in addition to the acquisition of knowledge indispensable for the other sciences.

· Early Specialized Subject Content

It must be pointed out that a good number of students in secondary admit that they have a taste for science, but have not chosen a definite area of specialization yet. For high schoolers who have decided to go into the scientific stream, they will later make radically different professional choices (engineers, highly skilled technicians, scientists, doctors, economists, etc.).

· Integration of Health and Environmental Issues

Health and technology programmes are being drafted that take into account this concern to integrate the issues of health and environment into the curricula. While such issues are fundamentally universal, the methodology of their application must be adapted to the regional context and to the needs and aspirations of the country.

· Academic Training for Teaching the Sciences

The lack of science and technology teachers is felt the most in the secondary schools. Indeed, for the 1992-1993 academic year, in the secondary schools, there was a total of 718 teachers of science and technology for more than 44,000 students and some 736 classes, which means there is just nine-tenths of a science and technology teacher available per class. This figure speaks eloquently to stigmatize the shortage of science teachers. Likewise, at the university level, there is a flagrant shortage of professors in the faculties and institutes of science and technology. This lack of scientists, engineers and technicians is felt not only at the training level, but also experienced in the various employment sectors.

FUTURE PLANS AND STRATEGIES

Strategies for Training Scientific and Technical Personnel

The current education policy strongly accents the training and recycling of technicians at every level, and of trainers and researchers in order to correct the shortages and gaps observed in every domain. The various technical ministries implicated to the highest level in the promotion of science and technology still feel a pressing, growing need for specialized technicians and engineers for their different technical services. The latter must therefore be trained and ensured of regular refresher courses. For that reason, enormous efforts are behind made to create new streams of scientific and technical training. Special emphasis has been placed on training mathematics and science teachers, who are in shortest supply.

Educational Research for Teaching the Sciences and Technology

The teaching of science and technology in Burundi has now become a top priority and is a major concern for its national leaders and decision-makers. Various surveys have been conducted by specialized researchers and local pedagogical services.

However, highly substantial means required are still not being provided quickly enough.

In conclusion, despite the limits mentioned above, the emancipation of women must necessarily be achieved through education, by raising the awareness of parents and by society. It is urgent that an information programme for parents be set up. They must also be made aware of their responsibility to allow their children to reach their full potential. Furthermore, girls must be made aware that the quality of their professional future depends on their education.

Statistics have revealed the high points and the low points. Among other results. Co-education has allowed the air to be cleared about the practice of various trades. At the primary education level, women now constitute nearly one-half of the teaching corps.

APPENDIX

Scheme representing courses taken in scientific education courses.

The main science-related subjects taught in the different levels of Burundian education are broken down as follows:

Primary Education: 6 Years

- Calculation
- Practical Agricultural Work
- Practical Home Economics Work
- Environmental Study

General Secondary Education: 7 Years

- Mathematics
- Biology
- Chemistry
- Physics
- Technology
- Practical Science Work

Higher Education: 2 to 6 years

- Faculty of Medicine
- Faculty of Science
- Faculty of Applied Sciences
- Faculty of Agronomy
- Faculty of Psychology, Sciences and Education
- Advanced Institute of Technology
- Advanced Institute of Land Development and Town Planning
- Institute of Applied Pedagogy

Table 6: Percentage of Students in the Public Technical and Vocational Establishments Student Enrolment Trends from 1975/76 to 1985-1986 and for 1992/93

Year

Boys

Girls

% Girls

75/76

1.074

25

2,3

76/77

1.195

20

1,7

77/78

1.211

540

19,8

78/79

1.373

323

23,5

79/80

1.516

402

26,5

80/81

1.574

461

29,3

81/82

1.640

544

33,2

82/83

1.894

888

30,6

83/84

3.202

1.069

33,3

84/85

3.545

1.060

30,6

85/86

3.714

839

22,5

92/93

4.151

926

22,3

Source: MINEDUC, School Statistics 1985/86

Table 7: Trends of Teaching Personnel from 1975/76 to 1985-1986 and for 1992/93 Technical and Vocational Teachers

Year

Males

Females

% Females

75/76

103

0

0

76/77

124

7

5

77/78

131

8

6,1

78/79

122

9

7,4

79/80

152

27

17,8

80/81

214

25

11,6

81/82

191

23

12,0

82/83

315

43

13,6

83/84

442

65

14,7

84/85

411

51

12,4

85/86

489

61

12,4

92/93

507

71

14,0

Table 8: Student Enrolment Trends from 1975/76 to 1985/86 and for 1992/93

Year

Male

Female

% Female

75/76

1 074

25

2,3%

76/77

1 195

20

1,7%

77/78

1 211

240

19,8%

78/79

1 373

323

23,5%

79/80

1 516

402

26,5%

80/81

1 574

461

19,3%

81/82

1 640

544

33,2%

82/83

2 894

888

30,6%

83/84

3 202

1069

33,3%

84/85

3 454

1060

30,6%

85/86

3 714

839

22,5%

92/93

4 151

926

22,3%

Source: MINEDUC, School statistics 1985/1986.

Table 9: Trends of Teaching Personnel from 1975/1976 to 1985/1986 and for 1992/1993 Technical and vocational Teachers

Year

Male

Female

% Female

75/76

103

0

0%

76/77

124

7

5,6%

77/78

131

8

6,1%

78/79

122

9

7,4%

79/80

152

27

17,8%

80/81

214

25

11.6%

81/82

191

23

12,0%

82/83

315

43

13,6%

83/84

442

65

14,7%

84/85

411

51

12,4%

85/86

489

61

12,4%

92/93

507

71

14,0%

Special Project on Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education for Girls in Chad

Mariam MADENGAR*

* Head of Women's Division - CNT/UNESCO Assisted by Mr. Bendoudjita Djassiara, Head of Science Division - CNT/UNESCO.

When addressing the issue of the status of girls and women in Chadian Society, we must first attack the matter of girls' school attendance levels and literacy for women. Here in Chad, three-fourths of girls have no access to modern education due to many factors that come into play, particularly those of a socioeconomic and socio-cultural nature.

Parents believe that the right place for their daughters is in the home, where they are supposed to take care of house chores and the smaller children while their mothers leave home to work in the informal sector (commerce or field work). The Chadian girl has always been relegated to second place, especially by her male peers who qualify her as unintelligent or intellectually incapable.

Generally speaking, society endorses the belief that the place for women and girl children is in the home. Since they have little or no access to school, or are obliged to leave school very early, there are not many girls or women found in the work force.

Despite the Government policy to promote the Chadian girl and woman, there is still a long way to go. There have been many awareness-raising campaigns, but some parents remain reticent about this sore issue. Chadian society does little to ease the task, for one still observes this discrimination between girls and boys at school. The same holds for men and women at the work place, or in gaining access to positions of responsibility, and in salary levels.

Mass education of girls will help stamp out the prejudice which dictates that technology is men's business. If both men and women are allowed to master technology, the rewards reaped by the family will be obvious, as this will improve productivity.

In Chad in general, not enough girls are enrolled in the science sections, nor women teaching science subjects. Statistics for 1996 and 1997 are unknown; hence, we will refer to those for 1994-1995. There was just one woman teaching biology in secondary school for the whole country, and another in higher education.

In the secondary schools, out of 82,559 students counted, girls represented 18.73% of total ranks. In the country's three technical, commercial and industrial high schools, there were 2,108 students including 724 girls. For the technical colleges, there were 364 students enrolled, including 8.38% girls.

There are also apprenticeship centres, where one can learn carpentry and masonry. Students coming out of the CEPE stream can be recruited for such training. After 3 years of apprenticeship, they receive an End of Apprenticeship Certificate (CFA).

If there are no women teaching the sciences, this is due to the fact that after the C or D Series Baccalaureate (Secondary school diploma), girls prefer to go into medicine or another discipline rather than teaching.

CURRENT ENROLMENT TRENDS OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN THE TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION SYSTEM

In general, in the public sector, one can be admitted to these schools after receiving a BEPC1 or Baccalaureate by taking a test. The exam is open to both sexes, and is internal, i.e., for those already practicing the trade and who seek a promotion. It is also external, as it accepts any new candidate. In the private sector, anyone who has a secondary school diploma and can pay school fees can enroll.

1 BEPC = Certificate received after passing 10th grade exams.

Nowadays, women have become aware of the need to gain access to schools, and they are enrolling in mass. However, one must also face certain facts.

A) National School of Technical Livestock Breeding Agents (ENATE)

Since this school was established, 498 agents have been trained, including 30 women. Seven (7) of the women were not integrated into the civil service, but were fortunate enough to be hired in private services. Two of them felt the need to advance and returned to take the test for technical assistants. Another took the engineering exam and passed it brilliantly. Blessed with a good business sense, one opened up her own pharmacy, while another now manages a private clinic.

B) National School of Technical Agricultural Agents of Ba-Illi and Doyaba

Since the school's establishment, 18 women have enrolled and all received their diplomas. Women began to take the exam beginning with 1989-1990, and continue to do so to date. Out of the 18 women, there are 8 Agricultural Labour Monitors and 10 Technical Agricultural Agents. However, the 1992 to 1994 classes were not placed in government positions. Consequently, they are all working in the private sectors with companies such as ACRA and ACORD.

In 1993-94, the school trained 50 Technical Agricultural Monitors and from 1994-95, 4 Agricultural Advisors.

Qualifications for Admittance to this School:

·· Agricultural Labour Monitors = 11th or 12th year (1 or Terminale) + CEPE + Entrance Exam + 3 years of training

·· Technical Farm Agents = 10th grade (3) + CEPE + Entrance Exam + 3 years of training

·· Agricultural Advisors = 12th Year + BEPC + 2 years of training

·· Technical Agricultural Farm Monitors = BAC + 2 Years of training. The Monitors supervise women in the Vocational and Agricultural Training Centres

Just one women is fortunate enough to be trained in Forestry -she is the first woman to do so in Chad.

C) National School of Public Works (ENTP)

Since courses were reopened in this school, 5 women have enrolled, and 4 have passed. Two (2) have become Technical Assistants and 2 Public Works Engineers. One of the engineers has been named Director at the Directorate of Human Resources, Training and Research and of Programmes (DRHFRP).

D) National School of Public Health and of Social Services (ENASS)

When it was established in 1964, the school was named the National Nursing School (ENI). There have been many changes in the meantime, during which the school assumed different names. It was in 1994 that it finally become the National School of Public Health and Social Services (ENASS). Since then, recruitment has ceased. The school has a staff of 40 permanent teachers, including 19 women and 53 substitutes, including 6 women.

The following streams are available at the school:

- Sanitation: In this stream, State-certified nurses and midwives are trained.

- Sanitation Techniques Requirements: Second cycle completed + BEPC. They receive 3 years of training.

- Certified Nurse Requirements: First cycle of secondary school completed + BEPC. They receive 2 years of training.

- Social: In this stream, Social Workers are trained. Requirements: Second cycle completed + BEPC. They receive 3 years of training.

Requirements for Assistants and Kindergarten Assistants: First cycle completed + BEPC. Two years of training.

Home Economics Monitors Requirements: CEPE. Two years of training.

For the current academic year 1996-1997, there were no female professors on staff.

E) School of Applied Arts

These schools are located in N'Djamena (Chari-Baguirmi); Sarh (Moyen-Chari), Moundou [Logone Occidental] and in Abn the Ouaddai).

Since the creation of these schools at different dates, 41 women have enrolled in them. Eight (8) women at the school teach technical subjects. The majors taken up by girls and women in these schools of applied arts are as follows, according to the region:

- N'Djamena: Embroidery, Sewing, Jewelry-making, Leatherwork, Bindery

- Sarh: Ceramics, Embroidery

- Moundou: Sewing, Embroidery

- AbN.A.

The number of girls and women trained in the various specialties arc:

Sewing and Embroidery

:

32

Ceramics

:

4

Jewelry-making

:

1

Bindery

:

1

Leatherwork

:

3

F) National School of Physical and Sports Education (ENEPS)

Created in the 1970s, this school only began to accept young women in the 1990s. Until 1990, the school was called the “Institute of Youth and Sports.” Eight (8) women were trained; some were employed in the civil services and others not. Just one woman teaches at ENEPS.

G) National Teachers' College (ENI)

National statistics for 1994-1995 show that everywhere, women are in the minority in the various establishments. The same applies to the National Teachers' College for the first year to the third year, for civil servant students and students aspiring to become civil servants all together. Out of 513 students, only 149 were women.

For 1995-1996, in N'Djamena, there were:

- 1st year:

31 women out of 42

- 2nd Year:

13 women out of 47

- Educators with Baccalaureate

24 women out of 75

For 1996-1997, at the time of this report, there are:

- 1st Year:

15 women out of 32

- 2nd Year:

31 women out of 40

- Educators with Baccalaureate

18 women out of 55

Out of 12 teachers in the professorial corps, there is only one woman teaching the sciences such as applied sciences, and she is also a home economics teacher. (Statistics were unavailable for the provinces).

H) Vocational and Retraining Centre (Chamber of Commerce):

The center was established in 1936 to permit candidates of both sexes desiring employment after obtaining the BEPC or the Baccalaureate, to try their luck. Hence, anyone who has received a BEPC and passes the entrance exam will be admitted for 16 months of training. This leads to a CAP (Certificate of Professional Aptitude). Those who earn the Advanced Technician's Diploma (BTS) are required to hold a Baccalaureate, and must then pass the entrance exam. They then undergo training for two years. Technical subjects are taught, and the exam is open to outsiders. The streams are: Secretarial Services, Office and Accounting.

Since it was opened, the school has trained 225 women and they all work in the private sector. Six (6) women teach at the chamber of commerce.

I - Advanced Institute of Management (ISG, A Private Establishment)

This school was established in 1994 by private initiative. Candidates wishing admission to this school must have a Baccalaureate from any series, or the BEPC. A Baccalaureate plus two years of training leads to a second level. After two more years of training, students receive a Vocational Studies Diploma (BEP: Brevet d'Etudes Professionnelles).

For the 1995-96 academic year, the number of students in the various sections are:

- Advanced Diploma in Enterprise and Organisational Management (DSMEO): 26 including 3 women;
- Advanced Technician's Diploma (BTS): 105 including 41 women;
- Vocational Studies Diploma (BEP): 67 including 66 women;
- Computer Science: 38 including 12 women.

Two women teach at ISG, one in stenography and the other in accounting. Most of the women studying at the Institute work in the civil service or in businesses, and they are married. Consequently, women fall behind in their courses, and at the end of the year, when they must prepare an end-of-year research paper.

J) - HIGHER EDUCATION: University of N'djamena

The Faculty of Health Sciences

Created in 1990, this faculty offers enrolment through admission exams organised every two years. There are two categories of admission and exams. Applicants with previous work experience in the health field sit for the internal exam. Since 1990 and until the present, there have only been three male applicants and no female applicants.

Applicants for the external exam must have a Baccalaureate (Secondary School diploma) in the Scientific C, D or Technical Series. There is a total of 3 Chadian women in the second to sixth year classes. For the 1996-1997 academic year, there were three Cameroonian women and 1 female Congolese out of the 26 applicants admitted.

At present, there is only one female professor. She is a gynecologist-obstetrician. The Faculty hopes to add another woman during the course of the year. Medical specializations in pharmacy and ophthalmology need to be created but there is a lack of material, financial and human resources.

The Dean of Studies deplores the fact that so few women sit for the admissions exam. This is perhaps due to the lack of information or that young women are intimidated by the exam. He intends to develop recruitment in another manner or devise policies which will encourage girls to seek admission to this Faculty.

Advanced Institute of Education Sciences (I.S.S.E.D.)

For the 1993-1994 and 1994-1995 academic years, enrolment totaled 285 of which 21 were women. In 1995-1996, there were 5 women out of a total of 102 students.

The Faculty of Applied and Exact Sciences:

Established since the creation of the University (in 1992), this faculty offers admission to qualified secondary school graduates of the D, C, technical or scientific series. There is no exam. Although admission is automatic for girls, very few young women apply to this faculty. The Departments in the Faculty of Science are as follows:

Department of Mathematics
Department of Chemistry
Department of Physics
Department of Biology
Department of Geology
A Technical Studies Division.

The enrolment of girls in 1994-1995 was:

Natural Sciences


1st year

6 girls

2nd year

4 girls

3rd year

4 girls

Physics Chemistry

2nd year

2 girls

3rd year

1 girl

Math - Physics

1st year

1 girl

2nd year

none

For 1995 - 1996 there were:

Natural Sciences


1st year

5 girls out of a total of 9 students

2nd year

3 girls out of a total of 4 students

3rd year

3 girls

Math Physics Chemistry

1st year:

6 girls

Math Physics

2nd year:

none

Physics Chemistry

2nd year:

none

The technical branch was created in 1987-1988 and until recently, recruitment had been cyclical. Students entering as a first year class are closely followed until graduation in the third year. At that time, a new class of first year students is then admitted.

Yearly admissions were initiated after the arrival of the last three-year group, 1994 to 1996:

1994 - 1995

2nd year

No girls out of 12 students

1995 - 1996

2nd year

No girls out of 16 students


3rd year

No girls out of 15 students

1996 - 1997

2nd year

3 girls out of 16 students.

Since the establishment of this division, there have been no women professors and no women graduates hired into the work force.

FACTORS (POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE) WHICH INFLUENCE THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL OR VOCATIONAL TRAINING

For nearly a decade now, international institutions and donors have focused their attention on basic human rights, placing particular stress on the enhancement of human resources.

The human element is to be enhanced not only in the interest of production, but also because it is the pivotal factor in strategies to promote development and thereby attenuate poverty.

Issues concerning health, nutrition, population, education, training, employment and the role of women represent the areas of priority for the World Bank, the primary funding partner.

Development, which has been defined as the possibility of working in a productive and creative manner, seeks to expand the range of choices available to each individual, within his community, to improve his condition. From this perspective, development is no longer viewed today as being designed for men but “by” men.

Consequently, aware of the inequality between sexes and in order to encourage the participation of all segments of society, donors have devised programmes specifically to promote women who, for too long, have been the “forgotten of development.”

It is within this framework that Chad has received significant funding, in the area of education, to bring about the reforms which will ensure gender equality in access to quality education.

Role of Women in Society

The role of individuals and the relationships between them are determined by the culture, history and economy of that society.

Information about the past is necessary to understanding the role of Chadian women today, for the country has undergone a number of profound changes in recent decades.,

Prior to then, a man was seen as the sole provider and a woman as only a receiver. Children were brought up within this environment. These strict roles affected both sexes in two distinct spheres:

- men in the public sphere;
- women in the private or domestic sphere.

Nevertheless, political and economic constraints have had an impact on these rules and standards and they have since undergone transformations leading to a revision of the established roles. Chadian women, constrained to become active to ensure their survival, have shattered the myth of inferiority and incapacity surrounding them. Today, they seek to massively intervene in the sphere traditionally reserved for men.

As a result, many women in their daily lives, now fulfill three functions which represent the triple role they play in the society.

This applies particularly to urban women who, beyond their biological or social reproductive functions, also serve as salaried breadwinners. As salaried workers, women are present in the public, semi-public and private sectors. Lacking proper qualifications though, they are often confined to lower-ranking, and consequently, poorer paying jobs. They are numerous in the social sectors in roles with which they have come to be identified.

As self-employed workers, women are to be found in the informal sector of the economy where they have excelled in petty food-trading, an area which requires no formal training, no apprenticeship and no technological know-how.

Indeed, in the area of technology, many believe women are totally helpless in this sector and it is therefore the business of men -a case of flagrant discrimination. Women start out by being ignored, remain ignorant about their rights as citizens and continue to be ignored.

There are many obstacles to ensuring girls and women access to education in the sciences. Women are the victims of social prejudice and various taboos which all serve to limit their academic advancement.

* IMAGES PROJECTED OF CHILDREN OF BOTH SEXES

* The low social value of women explains some parents' opposition to schooling for girl children. These parents are convinced that a woman's place is in the home and that in any case, “the beauty of a women is best appreciated in her home.”

Sexual discrimination begins from birth, the arrival of a girl being a source of less joy than that of a boy. A son is viewed as an investment, whereas a daughter will leave to go to serve other families.

A girl is born for marriage, maternity and making meals for her husband.

This consideration distorts teacher-student relationships; teachers view girls as objects of sexual pleasure by an attitude which is nothing short of a form of sexual harassment. How many young girls have been, and continue to be, diverted from their schooling by the incestuous preying of an educator who has failed to understand his role of a second father? it is not the educator who fathers the pregnancy, unwanted in this case, it is a classmate. The boy, however is not bothered at all by this development, given his freedom to pursue his schooling in serenity. In view of the responsibilities entailed by such a pregnancy, it is far from certain that the girl will be able to do likewise.

All these possibilities increase the apprehension of parents who view schools as a place for learning socially deviant behaviour. In schools, because girls are in contact with men, students or teachers, they acquire a degree of mobility which renders control of their attitudes and movements more difficult.

From that point onwards, the tendency of acculturation rises. For example, school teaches one to look directly in the eyes of the person being spoken to, regardless of their age; cultural tradition, in contrast, demands the lowering of one's gaze when speaking to an older person.

There are numerous other contradictions accentuated by the schooling of girl children. Nonetheless, girls must interact with boys if they are ever to eliminate certain prejudices or myths and accede to positions in science and technology after training.

The world is in a dynamic era, there are advances in technology and one must keep abreast.

Religious beliefs have also reinforced the attitude of parents towards education for girls. Indeed, brandishing the threat of expulsion, parents set up ferocious opposition to the access of girl children to schooling, first of all, and then to scientific, technical or professional training later. Even today, they still have the unreasonable practice of keeping 13 year-old girls at home. Marriage is often arranged before the girl child attains puberty.

These marriages would be less of a handicap if the girls were joined to men of understanding who would allow them to continue their schooling or even, at a certain point, guide them towards professional activities.

In terms of their involvement in the scientific arena, girls feel intimidated by the sciences from the outset. That is an area which they have come to view as the realm of men. They feel unable to compete in this area, thereby giving cause to the smug attitude of men.

When limitations on females do not arise from society's perception of girls and women, it comes from the effects of the country's economic realities on the financial capacity of the parents.

Indeed, given the high cost of living and increasingly high school fees, disadvantaged families cannot assume the financial charges inherent in sending their children to school. Simply providing food and lodging is already a major challenge. Consequently, when the distance to the school is not raised as an obstacle, it is the financial constraints which impose educational choices or priorities. Very often, considering the social roles that children are expected to play, boy children are the ones selected for schooling because of the hope they represent.

Parents in this situation console themselves by saying: “Even if our daughter doesn't go to school, she will at least have a chance of finding a good husband who will take good care of her as well as of us.”

Similarly, as one a teacher said during the events of 1979, “In any case, what are girls complaining about? Even if they don't succeed in school, they can succeed by exploiting their second industry to survive.” A strong insinuation that even if “uneducated” in any domain whatsoever, girls can always prostitute themselves to survive.

Another obstacle is the labour value of girl children, especially in poor families. Living at near subsistence level, with no means of hiring household help, mothers have to rely on their daughters to perform domestic duties while they are out and involved with income-generating petty trade; daughters in families where the mother is the breadwinner become overworked. They can neither study nor aspire to any technical or vocational training whatsoever nor enjoy the pleasures of their age. They often end up dropping out of school, discouraged by their poor performance, and determined to relieve the burden on their mothers of paying very often unaffordable school fees.

Surveys among most women in the informal sector revealed that for many of them, their schooling ended very early because they were needed by their mothers or given away in marriage.

Economic conditions are so tough that women aspire only to be able to meet their daily needs. Investing in education seems only a distant and uncertain benefit.

Not to be overlooked in the realm of economic factors is the selfishness of certain women who, to save money and secure their personal standing, adopt a discouraging attitude towards educating young girls who come into their care: “You are now far too old for school and will therefore be more useful in the kitchen,” they affirm.

What is the response to such discrimination from women themselves?

This is all the more unjust because there are technical or vocational schools which do not require an advanced diploma. Even an elementary school certificate is acceptable (C.E.P.E).

Also to be mentioned is the lack of social services such as nurseries or preschool establishments which would allow young single mothers to enroll in certain vocational schools.

There is flagrant job discrimination against women despite the ratification by Chad of the convention eliminating all forms of discrimination against women. This discrimination denies women access to the same degree of participation as men in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country. Women have few opportunities for either training or employment.

* PRESENT MEASURES TO PROVIDE GIRLS WITH EQUAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION IN THE SCIENCES AS WELL AS TO TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING.

As has been previously stressed, the message is still going unheeded. Even though the government has set up relevant structures, it has still not devoted enough effort to inciting changes in the attitudes of both the parents and daughters. There is need for greater awareness and for the circulation of information. On the one hand, parents continue to view STVE as a male domain while girls, on the other hand, continue to doubt their ability and never manage to show boys that they are just as capable.

The orientation committees in secondary schools give little consideration to girls in the sciences; this is evidenced by the minimal number of girls oriented towards science majors or towards technical or vocational specialisations. Girls accept the traditional study programmes.

The problem of self-employment remains unresolved due to the lack of training structures and the capacity to absorb graduates.

Indeed, today more than ever, the effects of the economic crisis persist and aggravate the imbalance between the systems of training and the realities of the working or productive world. The result is that graduates of secondary institutions and of schools in general are confronted with massive and chronic unemployment.

Since independence, the employment situation has not ceased to worsen, to the point that the absorption of young graduates has become a particularly critical and difficult problem in Chad as in elsewhere in Africa.

Among the graduates of vocational programmes, there are actually more consumers than generators of employment. It is not diplomas which make the difference between these two categories but a series of aptitudes imperative to a spirit of enterprise and innovation. It is indeed the latter two qualities that must be developed in preparing outgoing trainees of technical or vocational programmes for self-employment.

To achieve this, the following elements must be identified and analysed:

- initial individual capacities and aspirations;

- structures of support to launching new enterprises;

- the economic, socio-cultural and institutional environment in which the enterprise is to be launched.

Efforts to redefine and establish new training policies which will foster an entrepreneurial spirit in qualified trainees, must take into account the people and structures in Chad's economic environment. For example, certain institutional policies engender enough administrative red tape to discourage any self-employment initiatives. It is at this level that the government should serve as a catalyst in an evolving a framework to nurture a boom of private and budding initiatives.

This is the perspective and framework called for if the objectives of the Education-Training-Employment (EFE) strategy, adopted by Chad, are to be truly successful rather than just inducing bureaucratic reforms that inevitably fail. The EFE could effectively inspire the innovative educational policies so greatly needed, not only in the teaching of science and vocational skills, but in the field of education as a whole.

The limitations encountered in the realm of employment are particularly of a politically, institutional, legal, socio-cultural and economic nature. They may be summarised as follows:

· the absence of a rational employment policy;

· the lack of effective policies for the promotion of small and medium size businesses (SMB) and small and medium size industries (SMI);

· the lack of suitable policies to promote agriculture and the crafts industry;

· the outmoded character of employment regulations (labour laws incompatible with the present economic context);

· the low operational capacity of established structures;

· the pressure and aspirations of family groups;

· the increase of demand and the drastic reduction of employment opportunities.

In the area of training:

· poorly defined training policies, based generally on outdated references or models;

· drastic shortages in enrollment capacities and incompatibility with the new needs of the labour market;

· need of rapid increase in the number of students in technical and vocational training programmes.

The measures to be implemented are:

· the re-definition of more dynamic employment policies reflective of the present economic landscape (the sectors of industry, trade, services, but also agriculture, livestock raising and craft-making);

· the revitalisation of existing structures to raise their performance and impact;

· the expansion of research on the realities of the labour market;

· the reformulation of training programmes to foster private job creation initiatives;

· the revision of the objectives and composition of training programmes;

· the training of trainers in the new approach;

· the systematic implementation (when possible) of alternating classroom and on-the-job training sessions;

· the matching of the training offered to actual employment opportunities through a more thorough knowledge of the labour market.

Many people do not demonstrate an enterprising spirit not because they lack initiative, but because for the longest time, our educational systems, inherited from the colonial era, and family traditions all instilled the belief that recognisable success could only be found in salaried employment. Consequently, there was no training, no awareness-building or motivation involving risk-taking endeavours and the result is the present lack of entrepreneurs.

The promotion of private initiative requires, first and foremost, people of capability, commitment and faith in this form of activity. If this nature is not inherent, it can be instilled. Therefore, people should be taught to launch and manage their own structures. They are then to be assisted, monitored and supported in their undertakings.

The cumulative effects of the global crisis and events in Chad have had an impact on employment. This has been visible in the drop in economic activity, entailing a reduction of workers in enterprises and the freezing of hiring in the civil service.

There is a paradox in the employment situation in Chad reflected in the increasing distortion between the training available and the qualifications required in the labour market. Furthermore, although the industrial sector may be limited in the creation of employment, the informal sector, omnipresent in the country, appears to offer a vast number of possibilities. However, these can only be developed if vocational training efforts are renewed and more rationally organized.

SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE SECTOR OF SCIENCE EDUCATION

Science courses have always been a mandatory part of the elementary and secondary school curricula in Chad. Students begin learning mathematics in the very first elementary class and move on to the science of observation in later classes. Science courses are an integral part of primary education, ensuring early exposure to the subject.

On the hand, introduction to environmental and health courses come later. It is in the fifth year of primary school that students are exposed to health issues (studying certain diseases and vaccinations), but the topic of personal hygiene is introduced prior to that class.

Real focus on the environment was only recently introduced into the primary and secondary programmes. Recognized as a country of the Sahel region. Chad is haunted by the specter of advanced drought and desertification. Although the drought is basically climatic in origin, the principal causes of desertification are essentially anthropologic in nature.

Is it imperative that people be taught how to protect the environment. The member states of the Interstate Committee for the Control of Desertification in the Sahel (CILSS), have come to realize that the struggle against desertification will only become truly effective when populations will be taught to do so in an active and sustained manner. To this end, it appears indispensable to begin working from the base, with children, by making the education system “a special core of attention and thought” on how to defend the environment.

It was on the basis of this awareness that, in November 1987 and under the auspices of the Ministry of National Educational and the Ministry of Environment, the Sahelian Educational Programme (PSE) was established. The objective was to ensure the introduction into school programmes of themes on the protection of the environment and nature. The programme was adopted by the CILSS Heads of State Summit Meeting held in January 1988 in N'djamena.

The PSE has been implemented at all levels of education: primary, secondary and university. The Programme for Training in Information about the Environment (PFIE) was another programme launched in this area in 1990.

In Chad, this programme involved 100 schools, 200 teachers (2 per school) and about 9,000 students in pilot classes at the 4th and 5th year elementary levels. This effort involved an increasingly multidisciplinary and concerted approach to the teaching of subjects. The underlying goal of the courses was to bring students to devise solutions to environmental issues or, at least, increase their participation in the search for such solutions.

Since 1991, the Chadian government has, likewise, decided to introduce issues of human health into school curricula. A suitable experimental project was designed, but the actual method of implementation is still under review. Several primary pedagogic supervisors have received basic training in health education. This is another innovation in the educational system of Chad which merits attention.

STRATEGIES AND FUTURE PLANS

· promote greater awareness of the environment (to constantly bear in mind that problems exist and, when possible, adopt behaviour to counteract the degradation of the environment);

· foster comprehension of environmental evolution based on know-how and concern. That is, using scientific knowledge to explain environmental realities;

· strengthen capacity for action based on the aptitude to identify and anticipate problems and to prevent or resolve them.

In terms of improving the health of the population, teachers will direct their efforts towards:

· educating, training and informing people about improved usage and preservation of food products, drinking water and good hygiene practices as well as sanitary living conditions;

· directing cases of illness to the nearest possible health centres;

· training in modernised traditional technologies (project for the promotion of appropriate technologies); promoting approaches to and methods of communal efforts.

Supporting the Young

These strategies focus on parental training and community support. Through programmes of information, education and communication (IEC), one must provide mothers with the training that will enable them to stimulate and prepare their children for school and to recognize the needs of young children. Also to be involved are:

· the establishment of community centres to strengthen nursery and kindergarten structures;

· the promotion of community development in order to provide a, stimulating environment;

· the implementation of measures to inform and convince policy makers about the importance of support to young children and the need to address the issue through national policies.

The Participation of Girls and Women in Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Ethiopia

Yelfign WORKU*

During the last two decades the contribution that women render in various sectors has been stressed as an important factor to the economic, social and cultural development of a country. Nonetheless, as the experience of the Third World shows the position of women as compared to that of men has been very low. The interest of both sexes is not equally represented in current development practices: women do not have equal control over the decisions about development and do not leap it. There is an imbalance in the division of labour. Level of income, years of schooling, literacy rate are some of the social indicators of the low position of women.

In Ethiopia, for example, rural women spend a large part of their time in activities such as grinding, fetching water and firewood. This job, estimated to take up 15 hours a day goes unrecognized.

Women and girls in rural Ethiopia also take a major part in looking after animals in working in the farm which involves weeding, planting and harvesting. Essentially, the household chore includes farming activities.

PERSPECTIVES FOR THE ROLE OF GIRLS AND WOMEN

Education is considered to be important specially for girls and women in that it closely related to lower infant mortality and improved nutritional status. Educating girls and women gives them access to employment opportunities and puts them in decision making positions and enable them to act as role models for others.

Girls and women's education is a mean of increasing their participation in social and political life of improving their status in decision making and increasing their control over their lives.

Nevertheless, in Ethiopia the status of girls participation in schooling is much lower than that of boys. As shown in a number of Women Affairs Department, Ministry of Education, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. developing countries enrolment, persistence and performance of girls are generally lower compared to that of boys.

In School

Although more schools are now being built near communities, distance remains a factor for parents to send their daughter to school. Once girls get enrolled school a friendly environment such as separate toilets, facilities and conducive social atmosphere encourage learning. More so it the teacher attitude. Many girls who have joined colleges now have responded that they have achieved better and got good grades in subjects teachers have encouraged them. In other words the influence and encouragement or discouragement of teachers have made them like or dislike certain subjects.

Gender stereotyping in text books that are male-oriented and that are written in the image of males do not bring positive attitudes in girl's learning. Rather, they reinforce the impression that girls are destined for low status and this affects their performance in different subjects. For this reason, teachers are being oriented in the preparation of gender-sensitive textbooks and some positive impact and gender balance has now been seen in newly prepared textbooks.

In the Community

The status of girls and women needs due consideration in the community - a place where many social, political, developmental and economical activities take place. In Ethiopia now, women and girls are encouraged to be assigned in community leadership, and in different constituencies. They are also organized in credit associations and are now becoming active in economic and social endeavours.

Employment Opportunities

This has been very low, and chances are very minimal. Many women and young girls who are less educated are employed in jobs in the informal sectors. Due to lack of available capital, women are frequently engaged in catering services, grocery and other small service rendering activities.

In light of the above, efforts are being made to give priority to young girls and women. Different governmental and nongovernmental organizations are providing opportunities for women. Working environments are becoming conducive in factories and other production enterprises.

GENDER RELATED POLICIES FAVOURABLE TO THE EDUCATION AND PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT

Various policy declarations have stressed the need for women to take part in various economic, social and other sectors in order to bring about the desired change. These policies have indicated women as beneficiaries of available opportunities on an equal basis with men. Women and girls having been disadvantaged, having had less access to various opportunities than men. Now there is an advantage to working in conducive environment. In this regard, the second article of the National Policy on Women states that “ the government shall facilitate conditions conducive to the participation of women in both elaboration and decision-making process in regard to community development, social welfare, division of land property education and basic social services “.

This article is pertinent and allows women to have equal access at various levels and in various sectors of development. There are more women now than ever in parliament and different constituencies. Women are now taking responsibility in management and decision making. Nonetheless, as the majority of women live in the rural agricultural sectors, a lot need to be done to ensure their ownership to land and to other property so that they participate and gain from the agricultural sector.

Elsewhere in the same policy document in Article five it states that: “The right of women to get career and vocational guidance at any institution of education to have access to the same curricula as that of men and to choose their field” should be ensured.

Guidance and counselling in career choice help girls and women to get into the proper field of study. Nonetheless, girls are disadvantaged in vocational choices and are inclined to the traditional stereotyped vocations. Vocational institution should cater to the needs of girls and make course content, practical and applicable. Vocational courses should provide opportunities for self-employment and help them get absorbed in different sectors. Curriculum should be relevant and ensure gender equity in content, methodology, choice of words and pictures.

In Ethiopia, this has been ensured by giving orientation to curriculum developers and textbook writers. On the other hand, different vocational courses are being devised for school leavers at different stages of the primary and secondary. Courses that have demand in the production and service sectors have been carefully identified, to be offered in existing and newly established vocational centers. This will definitely benefit girls and women.

The Women Policy also state that: “There shall, in all ministries and government organisations, be a Department of Women's Affairs entrusted with responsibility of organizing women and promoting their interests”.

Women's issues have to be integrated in different development policies so that each Ministry or Organization should be responsible to identify problems and help to promote the interests of women. In line with this, sectorial Ministries and Regional Bureaus have set up Women's Affairs Departments. The Function of these departments is to focus on women's issues, bring out problems and find solutions pertinent to women's issues. They bring to the attention of policy makers those issues of women that need immediate attention to the promotion and placement of women in their respective organisations.

Another policy statement which has a direct impact to women's education is the National Population Policy of Ethiopia which states: “ Raising the minimum age of marriage for girls from the current lower age limit of 15 at least to 18 years “. According to various studies made in rural parts of Ethiopia, early marriage which leads to school drop out is one of the factors for educational wastage. Raising the minimum age of marriage for girls means few children quality of life, better health and other related benefits to girls and the family.

Most importantly the Education and Training Policy gives due consideration to females education, as can be noted in the following statements.

“To gear education towards reorienting society's attitude and value pertaining to the role and contribution of women in development.”

“Special attention will be given to the participation of women in the recruitment, training and assignment of teachers.”

“Special attention will be given to women and those students who did not get educational opportunities, in the preparation distribution and use of educational support inputs”.

“Educational management will be democratic, professional, coordinated, efficient and effective and will encourage the participation of women”

“The government will give financial assistance to raise the participation of women in education”.

The policies mentioned above call for attention and action for gender issues and gender perspectives. Gender issues need a continous follow up and should be considered as part and parcel of government programme. Activities here and there only will not do much but minimize some problems. Serious attention should be paid to gender gaps wherever they occur. Positive actions in favour of girls and women should be put in place. Workable guidelines should be formulated. To this end Women's Affairs Department should be active enough to follow-up the implementation of the policy declarations.

The Ethiopian Government is committed to promote women participation in the countries development endeavours as reflected in its various policy documents and concrete actions.

The measures taken have brought out positive attitudes. Women lawyers' association, women in education association and similar associations are also acting as pressure groups and help women issues.

PERSPECTIVES FOR THE ROLE OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SOCIO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

About 85% of women's labour is carried out in settled and pastoral agriculture. Due to the effect of poverty and under development, this sector lacks modern technology, especially with regard to those tasks carried out by women farmers and pastoralists.

The number of women who get jobs through the country's employment agencies, such as the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the Federal Civil Service Commission, has been improving. Yet, the number of women in decision-making positions is lower and there are relatively few women engaged in business ventures.

The total number of women employed through the Federal Civil Service Commission shows improvement but women employed as recent statistics show, is 13% in professional work and in administration 21% but 61% in the clerical. This shows that women are employed in the stereotyped professions in the majority. This does not include employment in the Regional Government Offices, the private sectors, and Non Governmental Organisations.

CURRENT TRENDS IN PARTICIPATION OF GIRLS IN SCIENCE SUBJECTS

In the general education system, all subjects are provided to both girls and boys. However, after grade ten, students either stream in the science or the social science subjects. Here the majority of girls choose the social sciences which lead to soft courses at the university level. Now orientation is provided to girls so that they choose the science subjects too. Many science faculties now encourage girls to enrol by providing special assistance once they register.

CURRENT TRENDS IN EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN IN THE TEACHING PROFESSION

To encourage more female teachers (positive steps are being taken). In recruitment of trainees in the teacher training institutes, special criteria are set to have more female applicants. Teacher Training Institutions reserve 30% of the admission seats for female trainees. Guidance and counselling as well as tutorial support are provided at the Institute to avoid attrition. Based on this recruitment criteria the participation of girls in Primary School Teacher Training Institutes has reached 35%.

More female head teachers are being assigned in schools. To encourage females participation in higher institutions, affirmative action has been taken. Accordingly, if two candidates who have the same grade point average compete and there is not enough placement for both, priority will be given to the female candidate. Furthermore, the grade point average at the Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination (ESLCE), one of the entrance requirements to Higher Institutions, for girls has been minimized to give them a better chance. This mechanism has enabled girls to raise their number in universities and Colleges.

CURRENT TRENDS IN ENROLMENT OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN THE TECHNICAL VOCATIONAL FIELDS

Traditionally, technical schools have mainly been open to male students. Girls were only encouraged to join separate field of study such as secretarial and specific vocations assigned for women. There were also fields in secondary schools specifically meant for girls; Secretarial courses and Home Economics, whereas technical subjects such as industrial arts, mechanical drawing, automechanics, electricity and the like were meant for boys. Even if girls were interested in the latter stream, they found it difficult to meet the academic demands of high grades in relevant subjects required for admission to these schools.

Traditional attitude and values with regard to male/female dichotomy of career's have inhibited girls' from enrolling and parents from encouraging their daughters to join technical vocational schools in general. Consequently, they are encouraged to choose such technical training areas as accounting and secretarial courses.

The technical vocational schools do not provide lodging facilities and parents are reluctant to send their daughters away from home. These technical vocational schools are usually situated at zonal or regional towns and accommodations facilities are not easily available.

Low self evaluation and the fear of competition in the performance of technical/vocational subjects and low teacher expectation of girls performance in subjects traditionally domains of male students has been a hindrance.

There are few girls role models in vocational education. Women teachers in vocational courses are still concentrated in home science and secretarial courses and not in mechanical, building technology and electrical fields which are now being provided in 25 centres in the country creating opportunity for those who have completed secondary schooling and would not continue higher education. Among those recruited as trainers there were only few women. This is because girls and women have been left out from technical subjects while they were in secondary schools. Nonetheless, girls are now encouraged to join such courses. The entrance criteria is being minimised and courses are made in such a way that they accommodate a variety of skills where students can join according to interest and availability of jobs in the market. This will gradually raise the number of women/girl trainers in these centers thereby encouraging more female trainees.

FACTORS (POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE) DETERMINING THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL VOCATIONAL

Economical

The education of children becomes costly specially for parents with many children and with very limited income. Even when no tuition fee exists, as in the case of primary schools in the country, other costs attached to schooling such as stationery and clothing, it become expensive for poor parents to afford sending their children to school. Thus economic problems of households and low socioeconomic status have been suggested to be an important reason for the majority of parents not to send children to school.

Opportunity costs of schooling

Rural families rely more on each family member to contribute to the family's survival, making the opportunity costs of educating their children very high for such families. This cost is much higher, for girls since there are a lot more labour required from girls than from boys at home.

If mothers are needed to work on the farm daughters are expected to assist or look after their siblings and carry out other domestic duties. As a consequence, girls miss school or leave school altogether.

Even when girls attend school, they will not have free time before and after school to do their homework. Therefore, this affects their performance. Now schools are being built near communities and girls can easily go to school. Appropriate technology is being introduced into communities and household chores are being minimized. These technologies include labour saving devices such as fuel saving chores, flour mills and pump wells which simplifies the work of the mother and daughter.

Sociological Factors

These factors include how girls and boys are brought up when they grow and how they are oriented and are expected to do. Societies expectation of the sex's has an impact on how they react to situations. Parents expect their daughters to behave in a certain way and they expect boys to behave in another way. This will have an impact on the schooling of boys and girls, in the choice of subjects, and later in the choice of career. Thus, the social environment where girls and boys are brought, will have a great deal of influence in their later lives.

Technological Factors

The attitude that prevails that girls should be limited to the home and family activities and not to traditionally male dominated development activities hinders their participation in science and technical-vocational areas. The strict division of labour assigned early to male and female also has also an impact on the choice of subjects later in their schooling. Girls are geared not to opt for technical and science subjects that are apparently hard, sophisticated, and time taking and instead choose short courses or extension classes that can be done while attending to their family activities. This being the traditional practice, girls are now encouraged to join the field of study that were the domains of males.

Employment Related Factors

There is disparity in employment and job opportunity between male and female. Women are found mainly in informal sectors and in non skilled areas. The less educated women are found at the low earning job. The majority of women in rural areas are illiterate and girls that go to school drop out at different levels of the education system and do not complete higher education and the few who succeed do not have professional jobs such as, managerial and decision making posts. Moreover, there are very few lecturers in Higher Institutions in general and in engineering and the sciences in particular.

Nevertheless, women are now being placed in positions of administration and management. In schools they are being assigned as directors and assistant directors. They are being trained as guidance counsellors. They are joining various fields of study and opportunities for employment are now feasible with better chances for female employees.

Within School Factors

The poor condition of school facilities affects enrolment, particularly girls. While the lack of learning and teaching materials is likely to affect the performance of both boys and girls, the impact is more likely on girls. In addition, parents may be deterred from sending their daughters to schools where there are no separate latrines for boys and girls, particularly when they reach puberty. It has been found that girls are absent for long periods during menstruation period and this has a significant effect on their performance since they miss classes.

Gender-stereotyping in textbooks, have a negative effect on the performance of girls. Textbooks frequently portray females in household chores such as in the kitchen, looking after children, and males working in professional occupations. This reinforces the impression that their destiny is to work in low status household that do not need much education. The attitude of teachers toward girl learners and boy learners in asking questions, in sitting arrangement, in choice of subjects, in usage of laboratories and equipment, in assigning class work, in the type of questions asked and quality of answers from students also inhibits their progress in science and technical vocational fields. Therefore, if such issues are not addressed properly girls will be at a disadvantage and they will not participate fully and potentially. Thus, the science and technical subjects should be dealt in a manner which make girls participate equally to that of boys.

Status Report Baseline Information on Girls in Science, Technical and Vocational Education in Ghana

Georgina QUAISIE*

* Desk Officer, Science, Technology and mathematics education, Ghana Education service HQR, ACCRA.

THE STATUS OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN THE SOCIAL LIFE

Ghana, like any other traditional African Society is known to hold on to certain traditional prejudices with regard to the perceived role of women in social life. In spite of significant changes in recent times, girls and women are still expected to perform certain roles and also get excluded from very important activities which are predetermined by custom.

However, the situation of the Ghanaian woman at home is now different from what used to be the case. The Government development projects, the use of the District Assemblies Common Fund, support from International and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have helped provide electricity, potable water, and day care centers for communities. These have greatly eased women's household chores. Some enlightened women and professionals have taken advantage of technological advancement and make use of home gadgets such as cooking stoves, washing machines, blenders, etc. Househelps are being used extensively to cut on down women and girls labour in the home.

In recent times, some parents, having been made aware of the benefits of girls education, have taken advantage of government equity programmes and are not only sending their girls to school, but also reducing their household chores to enable them to devote more time to learning. Analysis of recent examination results from one rural district shows that such girls are making a break-through. They are performing equally well as boys (Konadu, 1996), and some times even better (Quaisie, 1996).

Increasingly, women are being accepted as leaders, contributing to major decision making at the community level. A number of governmental and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), notably the National Council on Women and Development (NCWD), 31st December Women Movement (31st DWM), Word Vision International (WVI) Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) among others, in playing the advocacy roles have helped in creating awareness among the women themselves and the general public on the potential role of women in community development. Consequently, a fair number of women are on the Council of State, increasing from 7% in 1980 to 17 % in 1996. In Parliament, women participation have gone up from 4% in 1980 to 9% in 1996 and in the District Assemblies 8% in 1996. Ministry of Information and Local Government, 1994,. There are moves to enhance the role of Queenmothers (Members of the Royal Family) in their localities.

Available statistics show that women are now found in all major employment sectors. Women also constitute a small percentage at the top management levels. Current trends show a break-through of what used to be the status quo. From his study of a break of females in trades traditionally occupied by men, Nyanteng conclude that “females are now venturing into these skills because of the need to diversify their skills in order to survive and support their families. Women are now found in every aspect of auto-industry, construction, welding, refrigeration, photography, tailoring, etc. Some have found their way into driving commercial vehicles (including “tro-tro”)” Nyanteng, (1996).

The Government's Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) of the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) is known to have affected women directly as they are the ones who are normally found in the lower income group and it is they who were most affected by the retrenchment. Indirectly, women have suffered as wives of retrenchment men thus placing more domestic and financial burden from PAMSCAD and the World Bank-initiated programmes, even though they generally are covered under policies for poverty alleviation.

The National Council on Women and Development (NCWD). which advises the government on all matters relating to full integration of women in national development at all levels “ has been hampered by low commitment of state funds and problems with its institutional structure” “(Sutherland, et al. 95 pp.74-80).

Under the Educational Act of 1961, the fee-free compulsory education was to help improve access for girls. The objective of the 1987 Educational Reform, in addition to improving access, was also to provide equal opportunities for girls to prospect into male dominated area. (MOE, 1990). Disparities in educational participation of girls and boys have persisted over the years. The Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) was again launched in 1996 and the Government is determined to expand particular action-oriented programmes which have had positive impact, to address the various disparities. (MOE, 1996).

The Distance Education programme was to help provide “women who cannot combine work, marriage and child rearing with on-campus education” with the opportunity to raise their academic qualifications. (MOE, 1995). Though seen by some as not women-friendly, others look forward to benefiting from it.

The national Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NACVET), jointly set up by the Ministries of Education and Employment and Social Welfare is addressing the policy of systematic apprenticeship programme with specific activities directed at improving access for girls. The polytechnic and other tertiary institutions will soon be committed to specific affirmative actions on women. However, some informal intervention like the quota system have been in place for some time.

PERSPECTIVE FOR THE ROLE OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The knowledge and understanding of the need to enlarge or intensify women's participation in socio-economic development is still scanty.

The serious problem of under-utilization of the women and the deep rooted attitudes and concepts, dictated by tradition and affecting the role of and place of women in the family, home and community was investigated among the Akan people of southern Ghana (Quaisie, 1993). In a focus group discussion it was revealed that in spite of the fact that traditionally, women are made queen mothers and consulted on important cultural issues, in general, females in the Fanti traditional society are looked on as being inferior to men in mental capacity: that is, they are considered naive, fickle-minded, narrow-minded, and easily deceived. As such women are, generally not involved in major decision-making and problem-solving processes of the society. Women are also considered ritually unclean and are excluded from certain activities, including the handling of men's working tools. Neither are this considered to be as strong as men, physically and therefore in need of protection.

These ideas about women make them engage in socio-economic activities that reinforce their traditional roles in society, thus limiting the variety of economic activities they undertake. The activities should not take them far from home, so they can take good care of their children. Women are therefore generally farmers (usually, farming near their homes), fishmongers, market traders of food processors in areas such as smoking and salting. Men, who are traditionally considered stronger, more courageous and wiser, engage in economic activities such as fishing, hunting and brewing.

The positive impact of the women who have ventured into certain careers has made the society more able to accept the changing role of the woman in socio-economic development. Participants at the focus group discussion cited examples of successful women and the confidence placed in them. These observations are supported by the research findings conducted on females in traditionally accepted male jobs (Nyanteng, 1996). Nyanteng concluded that the motivation has been the need to survive and support themselves and their families.

Ghanaian women have not only contributed to the well being of the family but also to the production of goods and services for the nation. The potential role of the woman in development has been a matter of concern to women themselves, as well as to the government and non-governmental agencies.

The country has over the past decade seen an influx of donors,' NGOs and development agencies involved in a number of projects, trying to integrate women's concerns in the development processes. This has resulted in the establishment of a number of Women in Development (WID) programs in Education, Health, Agriculture and Rural Development. Notable among these are the National Commission on Women and Development (NCWD), the thirty-first December Women's Movement (31st DWM) the Christian Council of Ghana, World Vision International, the United States of America Peace Corps, DANIDA, CIDA, the World Bank, FAWE, etc. A directory of some agencies working in the area of Women in Development is found in App. 1.

Theses agencies play advocacy roles, direct facilitation, evolve intervention strategies as well as develop projects for the economic empowerment of women

CURRENT TRENDS IN EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN

Studies conducted in the country indicate that most parents, especially in the rural areas, still choose the traditionally accepted female occupations for their daughters (Fiano et-al. 1994; Sutherland et. al, 1995, FEMSA studies 1996); and a good number of students still aspire to female jobs (STME, Reports 1987-1996, GES). The second Social Survey of all regions (except one) of Ghana indicated the career preference by parents for their daughters is in a descending order of: Nursing, Teaching, Medicine, Medical sciences. Accountancy and Management, Business/Commercial, Secretarial, Legal Agriculture, Politics, Paramedic, Petty Trading, Priesthood, Engineering and Science.

The actual distribution of men and women in the labour market is shown (Appen II). These figures seem to agree with traditional norms. However, in his 1996, study, Nyanteng discovered that economic circumstances in the country are modifying gender assigned roles both at home and in the labour market. Incidentally, women are limited due to inadequate educational qualification and skills. Other factors such as early marriages and teenage pregnancy also deprive them of opportunities to enter and survive in the restricted labour market. The informal sector has become an important source of employment for women in the country. Most young girls and women are therefore involved in small scale petty trading, cottage industry and traditional trade like dressmaking and catering. The study also indicated that increasing number of girls and women were entering non-traditional technical trades. At least thirty such vocations were identified in the survey. The main concentration is in Auto Industry, absorbing 53%. About 31% are in Auto Spray, 8 % in Auto Mechanics and 5% in Auto Electrical and upholstery. Other areas are Carpentry 4.3%, Plumbing 3.8%, Welding 3.8%, Weaving 3.3%, Tailoring, 3.3%, Painting/Decoration 3.3%.

The new educational reform is giving good exposure to students at Junior Secondary School (JSS) level and has become an important exit for apprenticeship training. This is also providing good opportunities for girls. Under the National Technical and Vocational Educational Training (NACVET), special effort is being made to introduce girls and women to emerging fields in science and technology such as Informatics, generic engineering, biotechnology and computer technology. The Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (STME) Clinic for girls are now aspiring to career areas originally known to be occupied by men. Evaluation made at this year's STME Clinic for girls showed a percentage increase, of 75% of girls wanting to venture into fields of science and technology at the end of the program (STME Evaluation 1996).

CURRENT TRENDS IN THE PARTICIPATION OF GIRLS IN SCIENCE SUBJECTS AT SCHOOL

By 1987, girls constituted only 11% and 5% of females studying Science and Mathematics, respectively, at the final levels in secondary school (Andam, 1988). In 1992, girls made up 23% of total enrolment of student in science in Senior Secondary School (SSS) level, 13% at Lower six, 15% at Upper six. From the 1992-1993 participation rate of girls in programme offered at SSS level (National and Regional, Appendix III), it can be inferred that technical subjects are least preferred by girls (2.4%). Girls' participation rate in Agriculture is 19.2, and Science is 22.3%. In educationally more endowed regions, the statistics show that girls enrol the least in technical programmes. (App. III).

At the tertiary level, three out of seven Polytechnic institutions have women studying Engineering. In 1994, Applied Science and Mathematics departments of the Kumasi Polytechnic had a ratio of 6:34 females to males 4:8 in Accra, 3:10 in Tamale and 1:21 in Ho. In the same year 1994, women constituted 5.8% in science related departments in the University of Ghana (UG), 11.5% in the University of Science and Technology (UST), 4. 7% in the University of Cape Coast (UCC) and 7.5% at the University College of Education, Winneba (UCEW).

On the average, the actual figures show slight increase in the enrolment over the years. There are. however, slight fluctuations in some of the institutions in the last two years (UCC and UG); UST. however, shows consistent increase in the intake of women in the Engineering Department, from 0.4% in 1989 to 1.3% in 1993/1994 academic year, a percentage increase of 76.5%. This, however, is unfortunately at the cost of a percentage reduction of 17.3% in the Science Department in UST.

The general picture nationally is that more students-both boys and girls are avoiding the study of science at the secondary school level but that the enrolment of girls in science is going up, though at a very slow pace. Some have attributed current improvement of choice of girls in science to the positive impact of the STME Clinic and of role models like Professor Marian Addy who has been appearing regularly on Ghana Television (GTV). There is, however, no empirical evidence to prove this point.

CURRENT TRENDS IN ENROLMENT OF GIRLS AND WOMEN ON TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION SYSTEM

There are about 1000 Vocational Institutions in Ghana. About 900 are privately owned. Only 68 are under the Ghana Education Services. Nyanteng in his National Survey discovered 57 government. 19 private and 3 NGO owned Technical and Vocational Institutions where women were studying non-traditional vocations.

In the technical and vocational education system, measures instituted in the Africa Region have proved successful as in all cases the number of women intake has more than doubled (App. IV).

Under the Commonwealth Association of Polytechnic in Africa Program (CAPA), Accra and Takoradi Polytechnic have created programs aimed at:

a. Sensitizing Heads and Senior Women lecturers in polytechnic about constraints on women preventing them from getting enrolled;

b. Developing Modules for leadership roles;

c. Preparing women for leadership roles;

d. Achieving Gender Participation so that males will also take their share of responsibilities.

A Female Senior Secondary School was identified in Takoradi where the advocacy program will begin.

With support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Technical Institutions launched a pilot advocacy program for attracting females into non-traditional trades. The main features of the programme are as following:

1. Liaising with JSS students and forming clubs which undertake excursions to explore facilities at the technical institutions.

2. Giving talk to Parent-Teacher Associations

3. Mounting workshops to sensitize technical and polytechnic teachers.

4. Providing support systems at the institutions for enrolled females in the form of toilets and changing rooms as well as guidance and counselling services.

5. Mounting week-end remedial classes in Mathematics, Science and English

6. Giving out incentives such as fee-free special classes and tools.

7. Media advocacy through write-ups in new papers.

8. Sending students from technical and vocational institutions to STME Clinic for girls.

9. Using graduates of technical schools as role models at STME Clinics and other functions.

These initiatives have helped increase the female enrolment in the technical schools.

FACTORS (BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE) DETERMINING THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

A. Economic (trends in economic development)

Ghana has achieved an average annual increase in its GDP of 5% since 1983 and has reversed the economic decline of the previous decade with the present per capita GDP of US $ 379 (Ghana's vision 2020 - the first step 1996-2000, 1995). In 1995 one-third of the population lived below the national poverty line and the population growth rate was just above 3% per annum. The poor constituted 36% of all households and 43% in rural households. Ghanaian spend 67% of their income on food. Like many developing countries, Ghanaian women make up the greater percentage of the poor in society.

Although Agriculture, where women are mostly found, has traditionally been the dominant sector in the economy, there has been a steady decline over the past five years. This is at variance with the government stated policy on Medium Term Agricultural Development Program (MTADP) of 1990 to achieve food security.

Everything being equal, parents will still send their sons to school rather than their daughters, when money is scarce. Many parents and some girls do not see much prospect in white-collar-jobs which are offered to the girls at the end of their long years in school. They see more results in their daughters being engaged in trading and other “ female jobs “ like dressmaking, hair dressing and catering. However, as cited earlier, Nyanteng observed that the changing roles of women, (especially being single mothers and heads of the home), poverty and economic pressures have forced some women to venture into jobs believed to be the domain of men. Most of the women in the survey (67.8%) entered these vocations without parental influence, yet 94.2% of them would encourage their daughters to pursue the non traditional women vocations.

B. Sociological (cultural, religions, etc, including social attitudes towards science, technology/vocational education

From several attitudinal studies in the country, science is perceived by the girls themselves, their parents and the society as so difficult, physically and mentally demanding that even when girls pursue them they give up on the way (Quaisie, 1993, Sutherland-Addy 1995; STME Clinic, 1995 FEMSA 1996). Our documentary video on STME Clinic brings this out vividly. Some of the girls who attended the clinic were interviewed to find out the impact of the program. (IV)

Over the years technical education has been seen as less dignifying and vocational education only suitable for drop-outs from school and children of low income groups (Quaisie, 1993). In Ghana, the trend has been that any boy whose parents are poor or fails to gain admission to traditional secondary schools because of poor grades gets enrolled in a technical school. Such a girl, however, gets enrolled in “ vocational “ school. There is even a wrong perception of technical and vocation. Technical training is used when referring to girls. Quaisie (1993), believes that when introducing these subjects to students at JSS level, the teacher should take the time to explain them so students can have an appreciation of the study of technical and vocational skills at these levels.

FEMSA studies indicate that “even” though there has been much awareness campaign for girls' education, traditional attitudes still persist and work against any far reaching changes in the status quo”. (FEMSA Progress Report, Dec, 1996).

It was revealed that some parents-both literate and illiterate-believe that Science and Mathematics are difficult and therefore girls cannot study them. They encourage them to study Arts or Business subjects. Other reasons advanced were:

- inability to find husband
- inability to give birth
- science and mathematics are male domain
- girls in science will not be submissive in marriage

C. Technological (related to the changes in the world of work)

Like any other traditional society, the priority of the mother is to get the girl child well groomed for marriage. Training at home includes the proper use of traditional tools such as the use of the grinding stone, the mortar and pestle, etc. Despite of the introduction of electrical gadgets due to modern technology, some of these traditional attitudes still remains. There are some wrong notions such as these:

- the blender does not grind very smoothly
- the washing machine does not make the articles clean
- the toothbrush will not clean very well
- water from the fridge does not taste nice. The traditional earthen pot which is smoked offer a better taste and smell to the water
- the introduction of the fufu machine was an outright failure.

Even though some of these attitudes still persist, a cursory survey indicated that a good number of girls (in boarding schools and University campuses) and women use modern household gadgets and machines at home and in their places of work. The reason has been convenience and time and in their places of work. There is, however, a need to study further the change in attitudes towards the use of modern machines. Most women also find technology expensive. Some husbands have an attitude that discourages their wives from touching some modern equipment due to fear that the wife may damage them. Some women also keep their modern gadgets in safe places where children and especially maids in the house will not have frequent access to, for fear of damage. The same attitudes are observed with teachers. Science equipment and technical tools supplied to schools at the onset on new educational reforms were found hidden in the headteacher's office well sealed in cupboards or under his bed at home.

In all cases suffer limitations, as traditionally it is a taboo for girls to handle “men's tools”.

A cursory look at Accra and most big towns and cities today shows an upspring of hotels, communication centers and computer firms. These have brought modern technology to the door step of the ordinary Ghanaian. Many girls and women work in these social services departments. Indications are that there will be more job openings for girls and women in the field of science and technology.

D. Employment related (Employability, labour market structure, wages)

It is generally an accepted fact that Ghanaian women as workers have equal rights as men. In the government establishments, men and women of the same rank have always earned the same salaries. Ghana ratified the International Labour Organization (ILO) Equal Remuneration Convention in 1951. Legislation dealing with the legal status of women includes the statutes requiring industrial and commercial employees. However, a study carried out by the NCWD on the conditions of women workers with respect to maternity protection and medical facilities in the collective agreements of the major private and quasi-government establishments found that only 44.7% of the agreement were consistent with the Standards of Labour Law in Ghana (Oppong and Abu, 1987). This was also confirmed at a workshop on NTV held at Aburi in March 1996. At that workshop it was observed that there was a disparity in salary structure in private sectors.

Most women in Ghana are engaged in small-scale, low-productivity and low-income generating activities, all of which used to have little benefit from government loan schemes (Ewusi, 1982).

By 1997, it was established that only 6.4% of members of national-boards and national local councils were women (Ameyaw, 1977, as in Oppong et. al) {This is in contrast to the parallel and complementary roles of females in traditional society} and 6% of senior civil service posts were held by women. These women were mainly in the lower administrative sectors. Relatively more recent figures show that women now form 25% and 34% and junior civil servant positions, respectively. (Sutherland-Addy & Co., 1995).

Data from employment centers indicate that employments practice favours men rather than women. Some labour laws have not proved favourable to women. At the Aburi workshop on female in non-traditional vocations (March 1996) a case which was brought up was a situation in which a woman could not be employed in an industry because the labour law does not allow women to work on night duties in industries. At the same workshop a participant from the labour department brought out a document on labour laws which had it clearly stated that “No person shall employ a female in night work”. {Labour decree, 1977, NLCD 157, Paragraph 41 (1). Participants argued that women should be left to make their own decisions on job preferences.

Another factor identified which adversely affects women in the labour market was sexual harassment, especially from male employers, trainers and counterparts. In an interview with an official at the Regional Maritime Academy in Accra, it was brought to light that a girl who performed brilliantly at a selection interview would not be taken because “ She will have to stage on sea for long days with men and they could sexually harass her “. Participants also cited inequalities in promotion and exposure opportunities as important contributing factors affecting women in the labour market.

Participants were also concerned about the fact that both male and female employers do not have confidence in women - they show neither understanding nor support for them due to the fact that women are more frequently absent from work and because of major events like pregnancy, which tend to reduce productivity.

E. Educational (in general education, science education and technical/vocational education

Being basically an agricultural country, until quite recently, Ghana has not seen much growth in its industries for many years. Antwi has identified the slow pace of the industrial growth as one of the factors accounting for negative attitudes of students (both boys and girls) towards the educational system in the country. This equally affects their orientation towards science and technology education.

Education has long been viewed as unimportant, particularly for girls, who eventually get married. Among the northern people of Ghana and in predominantly Moslem communities, the bridal price, which is the prerogative of the father, is an important determining factor. Most girls are withdrawn from school for early marriage. This is partly due to the fear of losing the bridal price due to teen age pregnancy. Enrolment of girls in school in these areas is particularly low. Scholarship for girls, instituted by the USAID in four such districts in the form of provision of school uniform and stationery amounting to 12,000.00 (twelve thousand cedis) or a little below $ 8.00 (eight US dollars) improved the enrollment of girls. (MOE)

In southern Ghana, the idea of trading, especially in the market, as lucrative venture is still prevalent among the people. The large number of people engaged in trading in the country (buying and selling) has a very strong appeal for the younger generation. It is considered that women in particular do not need much education to do well in trading. These ideas still contribute subsequentially to disparities among boys and girls in school. Even though the trend has improved in recent years, it is still believed basic education is enough for women to survive in the trading business. This may be contributing to the larger gap one finds at higher levels of education.

Government policies and laws have not discriminated against girls and boys and yet disparities in educational participation of girls and boys have persisted over the years. The impact of programs directed at this problem is yet to be realized. The issue of equity, quality, access and relevance which will contribute to effective solution of the problem remain unresolved. The gender gap widens from Primary through Junior Secondary School, Secondary to Tertiary Education. Available statistics indicate that, in the 1994/1995 academic year, females constituted forty-six per cent (46%), forty three per cent (43%), thirty five (35%), and twenty-five per cent (25%) at Primary, J.S.S., S.S.S. and Tertiary levels of education, respectively.

Enrolment, retention, transition and achievement rates for girls are always lower than for boys. Fewer girls than boys are enrolled in Primary one each year, yet more girls drop out. Fewer girls continue to higher levels and comparatively fewer still achieve higher grades during their final examinations.

In 1994/95, the national Gross Admission Rate (gar) for boys was 84,56% and only 71.4% for girls. Attribution rates of a 1000 girls admitted into Primary One (PI) in 1986/87 academic year, 670 and 530 reached P6 and JSS 3 in 1991/92 and 1994/95 respectively. The corresponding figures for boys at the same period were 755 and 634. Regarding transition rates from J.S.S 3 to S.S.S 1, the corresponding figures for girls, was only 32,8%.

In recent times, a number of interventions and practices have been put in place to ensure that the girl child goes to school, in order to pursue careers out of good, intelligently guided choice. A fuller incentive package reached through the affirmative actions was developed by the NCWD for Cabinet after the return from Beijing.

The National Plan of Action on Girls' Education launched in June 1995 (MOE, 1995) is yet to take off. In his end of year address to the staff of the Ghana Education Service, the Honourable Minister for Education promised that the coming year would see much action in science Education and the improvement in the status of girls' education.

Every day in the National newspapers, there is some job vacancy advertisement in the area of Business Management, Administration and Accounting. It is believed that this account for the decline in enrolment of students in science and technologically related subjects in schools. In certain cases both parents and students believe that there are not many prospects in science related jobs, especially for girls.

The introduction of the New Educational Reforms in 1987, (MOS, 1987) brought about much focus on providing equal opportunities for girls in science, technical and vocational education at basic education levels. Both boys and girls study the same subjects irrespective of their sexes (MOE, 1990). The equity improvement program (MOE, 1993) has offered girls the opportunity to increase their level of participation in education. However, disparities still exist in enrolment and particularly performance in national examinations.

Enrolment in Business and Administration has gone up. For the 1992/93 academic year; national participation rates of girls in programs offered by SSS were as follows:

Home Economics

80.7%

Business

39.7%

General Arts

29.7%

Visual Arts

29.0%

Science

22.3%

Agriculture

19.2%

Technical

02.4%

At the University levels figures were as follows:

Humanities

18.4% in 1992/93 and 19.9% in 1993/94

Science

5.8% in 1992/93 and 5.6% in 1993/94

The government quota system in the Universities is now 40:60 Arts and Humanities to Science. There are still further provisions made at the universities and polytechnic for increase in enrolment of women. However, within the years 1995 and 1996, there was some progress in Building, Manufacturing, Hotel Industries and Computer Technology. It is expected that this will create an appreciation for science and technology related jobs. Salaries are already quite good and several young people are going into the computer market.

CONCLUSION

It is therefore evident that much effort has been invested in promoting girls' participation in science, technical and vocational education. The country has also recorded some encouraging results from the initial investment.

However the full impact of the policies, measures and strategies adopted so far are yet to be realized. Besides, traditional and societal restrictions on the girl-child are still strong factors to contend with.

Nevertheless, with adequate support and resources from both the Government and Private Sector, Ghana is capable of achieving her ultimate goal.

ANNEX I
Interagency Dialogue on women in development - Ghana on 22/11/95 at FAO-RAF, Accra.

Agency/Organization

Type of Work

Target Group

Collaborators

Brief Description

1 S.N.V. Netherlands Development Organization

Integrated

(Urban Poor) Women. Youth unemployed. Street Children

S.T.M.A., Department of Social Welfare, CEDEP, Response

Sustainable Improvement of the living conditions of the urban poor

2 World Health Organization (WHO

Health

Women

Nutrition Division of MOH, Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Authority, Sale Motherhood International

Promoting health through Women's functional literacy and inter-sectorial action

3 Japan International Co-operation (J.I.C.A)

Integrated

Girls and Women

Women Training Institution. Vocational Institution National Technical and Vocational Institute

Training of girls to acquire skills to he self reliant

4 P.N.U.D. Programme des Nations-Unies pour le Dloppement

Holistic and Integrated

National Priorities

Several - Netherlands Embassy, UNFPA, FAO, etc..

Assist activities linked to National Development goals and co-ordinate UN Development assistance. Goals - Poverty dication-job creation, Sustainable livehood advancement of women, Environmental Management

5 United Nations Fund for Population (F.N.U.A.P)

Population and Family Life

Women. Youth

N C W D. PAMSCAD. MOE. MOH. 31st December Market Women

Addresses reproductive health issue as at affects women, the disadvantaged, and underprivileged communities

6 Save the Children Fund

Social Work Transportation and Health

Government Officials

Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, Ministry of Health, NGO's, District Assemblies

Organizations of workshops with different WID Agencies

7 British Council

Integrated

Officials of WID

Ghana Institute of Journalism, UNIWA, WILDAF, CUSO, CENSUDI

Promotion of female apprenticeship in traditional male trades

8 British Volunteer Services Overseas

Mainly Education Integrated

Girls. Women and Youth

MOE. District Development Programme. MOH

Committed to developping opportunities for the women and enhancing women skills

9 Ghana Regional Appropriate Technical Institute

Technology

Women

Intermediate Technology Transfer (ITTU), Aid to” Artisans, Ghana (ATAG) UNDP, ILO, GTZ, 31st DWM, CRS, Nkulenu Industries

Apprentice Training, Agro-Processiong, Textiles. Bookeeping, Entrepreneurial Development and instutional collaboration in technology diffusion

10 U.S.A.I.D USA Agency for International Development

Major areas. Non traditional export, reproductive heath. Primary education

Both sexes

NCWD. NGOs, MOE

The new Gender and Development (AGAD) approach aimed at achieving increased participation with enhanced opportunities and benefits for women and disadvantaged groups

11 German development Service D.E.D.

Education and business promotion

Young Girls and Women

NBSSI, VOLU, LHL, GHACOE, CEDEP

Promotion of female apprenticeship in traditional male trades

12 Data Bank financial Service Service LTD)

Economic Empowerment

Women

Ghanaian Women Entrepreneurs

Advisory and financial support for development of the Hotel project - Hotel Cultural Village in the Volta Region

13 Konrad Adenauer Foundation

Educational Social and economic

Women's Groups

Christian Mothers Association, Asamankese Women's Vocational Training Center

Assistance in institutional Buildings and leadership training programme and providing vocation to girl drop-outs

14 United Slates Peace Corps

educational Health Environment, Business and Youth Development

Jeunes files et femmes

MOE, MOH. Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation ONG

Provide technical supper through volunteer service in leaching mathematics and science. Visual Art. Technical subjects, using practical hand-on demonstrations with locally available materials. Buildd Kilns, work in Health clinics, environmental Clubs, sex education, afforestation, water and sanitation

15 National Council on Women $ Development(NCWD)

Integrated, Co-ordinating activities of women's group

Women's Groups

Many women's groups. government house, National and International organizations

Serve as the national official body for co-operating and liaising with national and international organizations on matters relating to the status of women and advising the government on all matters relating to full integration of women in national development at all levels

ANNEX II

Table 1: -Ghanaian Women in Selected Occupations - 1984

Occupational Groups

Employed males
& Female

Percentaje
of Total

Female Participation
Rate

1

2

3

4

Professional. Technical and related workers

221.704

4.09

35.68

Administrative and Managerial Workers

16.246

0.30

8.85

Clerical and related Workers

127.575

2.35

29.81

Sales Workers

750.179

13.84

88.97

Service Workers

130.736

2.4147.32

34.74

Agriculture Animal Husbandry

3.288.808

60.65

47.32

Production and related Workers, Transport equipment, Labourers

887.232

16.36

44.84

All Occupations

5 422 480

100

51.37

Sources: Government of Ghana, 1984 Population Census of Ghana, Advanced Report. Census Office, 1987, pgs 46-53.

Table 2: Women Participation in Politics

Level of Participation

1980

1985

1990

1994


T

F

F

T

F

F

T

F

F

T

F

F

Government

17

1

6

16

1

6

16

0

0

19

2

11

Council of Slate

15

1

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

24

4

17

Minister of State

26

1

4

29

1

6

29

0

0

35

3

9

Deputy Minister

24

1

4

-

-

-

-

-

-

45

5

1 1

Member of Parliament

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

200

16

8

Members, District Assembly

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

6448

486

8

Chief Directors

-

-

-

-

-

-


-

-

16

1

6

Source: Ministry of Information and local Government

Table 3: Women in District Assemblies by Region, 1990-94

Region

Number of Districts

Total Membership

Female Membership




Number

%

# Elected

%

All Region

110

6448

486

8

152

31

Western

11

641

41

7

16

17

Central

12

548

48

7

17

36

Greater Accra

5

342

24

7

5

21

Eastern

15

990

65

7

24

37

Volta

12

742

67

9

18

27

Ashanti

13

822

56

7

14

25

Brong Ahafo

13

822

62

8

19

11

Northern

13

770

57

7

9

16

Upper East

6

388

27

7

4

15

Upper West

5

283

17

6

6

16

Source:

Table 4: Women in Public Bodies

Public Body

Total

Women

% women

Total

2.423

246

9

Government Administration

1.416

190

13

Managing Directors

715

42

6

Legislative Bodies

236

11

5

Others bodies

56

3

6

Source: PANDIT. N.N et al. Second report for Economic and Manpower Requirement for Economic Development of Ghana, 1989.

Table 5: Women in Selected Professions

Profession

Total

Female

% Female

Chartered Accountants

656

8

1

Doctors

588

102

17

Pharmacists

1030

168

16

Dental Surgeons

*34

11

32

Engineers

1373

11

1

Journalists

480

89

19

Source: Secretariat to the Professional Bodies and Ministry of Health, Doctors and Surgeons under Ministry of Health

Table 6: Women in the Civil Service by category

Category

1990

1992

1993


TOT.

FEM.

%FEM

TOT.

FEM.

%FEM

TOT.

FEM.

%FEM

Total Civil Servants

86.730

28.455

33

76.797

25.330

33

80.209

26.001

32

Dis/Metro Servants

-

-


-

-

-

17.342

4.135

24

Directors

-

-


-

-

-

66

6

9

Senior Civil Servants

-

-


9.301

2.486

27

9.911

2.474

25

Junior Civil Servants

-

-


67.496

22.844

34

70.287

23.527

33

Source: Office of the Head of Civil service, 1994; Excludes data from two departments

Table 7: Female Representation on the Executive Board & National Executive Councils (NEC of the GTUC)

GTUC/National Unions

EB/NEC

# of Fem. Reps 1990

Total Rep.

Total Repre.
Feb. 94

% Females




H

E



1. Ghana Trade Union Congress

ExBoard

0

66

4

70

4.2

2. General Agric Workers' Union

NEC

11

44

6

50

12.0

3. Public Service Workers Union

NEC

5

46

16

62

25.8

4. Health Services Workers Union

NEC

1

18

3

21

14.0

5. Teachers $ Educ. Wks Union

NEC

1

36

4

40

10.0

6. Timber $ Wood Workers Union

NEC

3

10

3

13

23.0

7. Local Government Wks Union

NEC

1

33

2

35

5.7

8. Maritime $ Dockworkers

NEC

0

31

6

37

16.2

9. Ind. $ Commercial Workers Union

NEC

4

55

9

64

14.0

10. Communication Workers Union

NEC

9

13

3

16

18.0

11. Const. $ Building Workers Union

NEC

4

35

1

36

2.8

12. Ghana Mineworkers Union

NEC

1

38

0

38

-

13. Public Utility Worker's Union

NEC

0

48

0

48

-

14. Gen. Tran. Petro & chem Wk.U

-

0

32

2

34

5.9

15. Railway & Ports Workers' Union

-

-

*

*

*

*

16. National Union of Seamen

-

0

31

1

32

3.1

17. Railway Enginemen Workers 'U.

-

0

-

-

*1

-

18. Ghana Private Road Tran Union

-

0

40

0

40

-

TOTAL

-

40

578

60

636

9.49%

Data Definition


*:-unavailable

*I: Solely Male Membership

F:- Female

Ex Board - Executive Board

M:- Male

ExBoard: Executive Board

Table 8: Female participation in Science Teaching/Research at UCC.

Areas of Specialization

Total No. of staff

Total No. of female

%

Highest Status of Women

Home Economy

4

3

75.0

Snr. Eect (2) Lecturer (1)

Science Education

7

1

14,3

Asst. Lect (1)

Health Science

2

1

50.0

Professor

Botany

8

2

25.0

Snr. Lect (1) Lecturer (1)

Zoology

9

I

11.1

Snr. Lect (1)

Agriculture

27

1

3.7

Lecturer (1)

Chemistry

11

0

0


Physics

9

0

0


Mathematics

4

0

0


TOTAL

81

9



Source: Complied from the University of Cape Coast Gazette, vol. 26, No. 39. 1995;S

ANNEXE III

Participation rate of girls in programmes offered by SSS3 Students - National & Regional - 1992/93

SUBJECTS

NAT

ASH/R

B/A

CENTRAL

EASTERN

GEACC

NORTHEN

U/EAST

U/WEST

VOLTA

WESTERN

Agric.

19.2

17.4

24.8

19.8

14.1

14.7

11.8

40.9

19.5

17.6

18.0

Business

39.7

41.1

46.7

43.6

42.3

40.0

26.4

23.9

24.4

44.4

33.0

Technology

2.4

1.7

4.2

0.6

1.3

0.8

1.2

8.2

3.3

5.0

2.0

Vocational

29.0

34.9

22.1

28.3

22.5

36.0

23.2

60.3

20.4

25.4

28

Visual Arts

80.7

79.0

83.5

82.7

84.8

93.5

60.4

64.9

26.5

78.2

86.0

Home Econo.

29.7

24.8

23.9

24.6

35.9

47.8

16.7

40.4

31.7

26.7

30.0

Gen. Arts

22.3

22.0

18.7

25.4

24.6

25.0

6.8

25.4

22.9

21.3

24.0

Sciences

32.3

30.3

30.0

33.2

33.3

88.6

21.5

36.8

32.4

32.0

32.0

Total












Source: PBME. MEN. Accra

ANNEXE IV

Table 1: Percentage student enrolment by gender. Polytechnic and subject

POLYTECHNIC

1989/90

1990/91

1991/92

1992/93

1993/94


G

F

T

G

F

T

G

F

T

G

F

T

G

F

T

KUMASI
















ENGINEERING

14

1.3

15.3

27.9

0.1

28

20.4

0.1

20.5

25.3

0.1

25.4

28.2

2.6

30.8

APP. MATHS (Sc.

3.5

13.4

16.9

0.1

11.2

11.3

0.1

15.8

15.9

16

25.8

41.8

10

16.7

25.7

MGT/BUS.STUDlESce

28.3

39.5

67.8

30.5

30.2

60.7

27.2

36.5

63.6

15.3

17.4

32.8

23.6

18.9

42.5

TOTAL

45.9

54.2

100

58.5

41.5

100

47.7

52.4

100

56.6

43.3

100

61.8

38.2

100

CAPE COAST
















ENGINEERING

-

-

-

11.4

0

11.4

100

0

100

16

0

16

29.7

0.4

10.1

APP. MATHS (Sc.

56.3

43.7

100

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

MGT/BUS.STUDIESce

-

-

-

44.3

44.3

88.6

0

0

0

45.1

39.9

84

34.1

35.9

69.9

TOTAL

56.3

43.7

100

55.8

44.3

100

100

0

0

61.1

39.9

100

63.8

36.3

-

ACCRA
















ENGINEERING

31.7

0.1

31.8

47

0 1

47.1

45

2.6

45.6

32.5

0.6

32.9

39.3

0

39.3

APP. MATHS (Sc.

20.7

24

44.7

15.6

1.3

28.6

-

22.4

32.9

28.1

16.6

44.7

1.8

12.8

14.6

MGT/BUS.STUDIESce

15.3

6.2

23.5

6.8

7.5

24.3

-

15.4

22.5

6.1

16.3

22.4

24.3

21.8

46.1

TOTAL

67.7

32.3

100

69.4

30.6

100

-

29.4


66.7

33.1

100

65.4

34.6


TAMALE
















ENGINEERING

31

3.6

24.6

95

-

100

-

-

220

95.9

4.1

100




APP. MATHS (Sc.


-

15,4

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-




MGT/BUS.STUDIESce


-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-




TOTAL

-

3.6

100

95

32.5

100

-

-

-

95.9

4.1

100




Table 2: Percent student enrolment by Faculty and gender (all students) - UG -1989-90 et 1993-94

FACULTY

1989/90

1990/91

1991/92

1992/93

1993/94


G

F

T

G

F

T

G

F

T

G

F

T

G

F

T

BASE: SCIENCES










8.7

1.8

10.5

9

1.8

108

SCIENCES










7.7

2.4

10.1

5.9

2.1

8

MEDECINE










5.8

1.6

7.4

5.1

1.7

6.8

AGRICULTURE










22.2

5.8

28

20.1

5.6

25.7

1° TOTAL
















Lettres et Sc. Hum.
















ARTS/Sc.SOC,










45.5

16.1

61.6

46.5

17.3

63.8

LAW










0.3

0.5

0.8

0.3

0.5

0.8

ADMINISTRATION










7.8

1.8

9,6

7.6

2.1

9.7

1° TOTAL










53.6

18.4

72

54.4

19.9

74.3

GRAND TOTAL










75,8

24.2

100

74.5

25.5

100

Source: PBME, MOE, ACCRA.

Promotion of the Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in the Republic of Kenya

Anne W. NJENGA*

According to the 1989 census, Kenya has a population of 25 million people. Women make up 51% of this population. Young children and youth make up about 60% of the population.

Education is one of the most important tools of empowerment for a woman. It enhances her ability to access knowledge, acquire skills and accept changes. It also increases her employment opportunities. Empirical evidence exists to show that educated women provide better for the health, nutritional and care needs of their children, have fewer children and have delayed marriages.

Women and girls have many roles they are expected to perform. It is important to address these roles as often they (roles) militate against the access, participation, retention and achievement of women in education.

PERSPECTIVES FOR THE ROLE OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Roles of Women

Since independence in 1963, Kenya has undergone tremendous socio-economic changes. As a result of these changes the women in Kenya have assumed multiple roles.

The majority of young men have migrated to the urban areas in search of jobs, leaving the women to shoulder the responsibility of providing the basic needs, particularly food, for the families. According to statistic, 70% of the food requirements in Kenya is produced by women. In rural areas also 80% of the agricultural activities are carried out by women (Gachukia, 1984).

The women are also the sole care providers for their young children. The increased primary school enrolment of young children (though a positive factor) and the disintegration of the extended

Kenya Institute of Education, PO Box 30231, Nairobi, Kenya. family system has deprived the mothers of the traditional childcare support that the mothers heavily depended on.

In addition women are the health providers, decision makers and socializing agents of their children.

The impact of these multiple roles is compounded more by single motherhood and wage employment. The number of women heading households has tremendously increased. By 1979, it was estimated that 32% of households in Kenya were headed by women (Yossef and Hammam, 1985). These women play the role of 'fathers' and are also the sole breadwinners of their families. The women in wage employment are employees, mothers, breadwinners and at times wives. These roles often create conflicts that the women must deal with. Such conflicts may impact negatively on their work outputs, motherhood and emotional status.

Despite these problems it is evident that the Kenyan woman today is playing a significant role in social and economic development of the country. She provides nurturance and care for her young children. Such children whose total needs are well met will grow up to be an asset as they are able to contribute significantly to the economic development of the country. The women also play a significant role in subsistence and cash crop agriculture which is the mainstay of Kenya's economy. It is therefore evident that women have made tremendous contribution to the social and economic development in Kenya.

Roles of Girls

The girls assist the mothers in carrying out all the household chores which include, for example, caring for the baby, fetching water and fire wood, cooking, cultivating and washing. If the mother is sick or is away from home, it is the girls who miss school to attend to these chores. In the evening, the girl has less time to study because she has to assist the mother.

This adversely affects her participation and achievement in school. Absenteeism may result in poor performance in school which will lead to repetition and finally dropping out of school, sometimes before the girl achieves basic literacy. For the majority of those who reach the end of their education cycle they often perform poorly in their promotion examinations1 hence they are forced to stop school.

1 Footnote: The are two promotion examinations in the 8-4-4 education system:
¬ Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) done at the end of 8 years of primary education cycle. Those who pass the examination proceed to secondary schools.

Current Trends in Employment Opportunities for Girls and Women

Since independence the number of women in wage employment has risen from 12% in 1964 to 21% in 1987 (Kenya National Development Plan, 1989-93). This is mainly due to increased participation of women in formal education. However, a comparison of men and women in wage employment reveals that women are significantly underrepresented in all sectors of wage employment. (see Table I).

Table 1: Participation in Wage Employment by gender

Industry

Males

Females

% of females


1989

1990

1989

1990

1989

1990

Agriculture & Forestry

198.3

204.0

63.5

63.4

23.7

23.7

Mining & Quarrying

6,8

7.0

1.7

1.6

20.0

18.6

Manufacturing

164.8

167.6

18.0

20.1

9.8

10.7

Electricity and water

19.2

18.9

3.2

3.1

14.3

14.1

Building and

64.4

67.3

4.3

4.1

6.3

5.7

Construction

Trade, Restaurants & Hotels

93.8

95.2

16.5

18.8

15.0

16.5

Transports & Communications

66.9

63.8

8.9

10.4

11.7

14.0

Finance & Insurance

50.5

51.2

13.1

14.1

20.6

21.6

Business services

Community, Social & Personnel Services

- Public administration

142.7

145.1

39.2

39.2

21.6

21.3

- Education service

160.2

165.5

64.2

71.1

28.6

30.1

- Domestic service

49.8

50.9

19.9

19.9

27.9

28.1

- Other services

69.5

71.0

34.0

34.4

32.9

32.6

Total

1,086.9

1,107.5

285.9

300.2

20.8

21.3

Of which regular

931.4

963.4

243.5

256.6

20.7

21.0

Casual

1555.5

144.1

42.4

43.6

21.4

23.2

Source: The National Manpower Survey, 1989. (MMPE)

The main reason for this is the higher level of illiteracy among women. About 57% of the women in Kenya are illiterate. Empirical data exist to show that education provides a headstart for wage employment. A woman who is educated will get a job more easily than the one who is illiterate. She will also earn more money and will be more productive.

¬ Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) done at the end of 4 years of the Secondary school cycle. Those pass well proceed to the university. The others go to Technical Institutes.

The majority of the women who get jobs are placed in low status jobs. Table 1 shows that the majority of women are in job groups A to H. Empirical data exist to show that very few women go beyond the primary school cycle. Women are, for example, underrepresented in the secondary school and university level cycles, hence their placement in low status jobs because of their low level of education.

The job group placement also influences total earning. The higher the Job Group the higher the earning. Consequently, there are very few women earning good salaries. Most of them earn very low salaries. This has a negative impact on their welfare and their ability to provide adequately for the total needs of their children. It is therefore true to say that the majority of women are earning salaries that can hardly sustain their families. Such women are likely to be frustrated and less productive in their jobs.

In addition, such women often have no savings. They therefore may not be able to pay for further skill 'development courses unless such course are financed by their employers. This means that they may not be promoted easily, as most of the promotions are based on skill development.

Current Trends in Participation of Girls and Science Subjects in School

Throughout the history of formal education in Kenya, girls have continued to be underrepresented in maths and science subjects (Eshiwani, 1983). In the 1988 KACE2 examination, for example, girls comprised of 17.6% in maths, 6.7% in physics, 18.9% in chemistry and 27.9% in biology (see Table II).

2 Footnote: KACE is an examination that was previously done at the end of six years Secondary School education cycle. Those who passed well proceeded to University. Others joined technical Institutes and others diploma colleges. KACE was abolished at the implementation of the 8-4-4 education system. It was replaced by KCSE which is now the university promotion examination in the 8-4-4 education system.

Table II: Women in Education Percentage female candidates participants in 1988 KACE

Subjects

% Female candidates

Mathematics

17.04

English

54.84

Kiswahili

28.18

Physics

6.72

Chemistry

18.94

Biology

27.90

Geography

27.70

History

29.33

Economics

35.12

CRE

38.73

Source: Kenya National Examinations Council, 1991.

In the 1989 KACE and KCSE examinations the enrolment of girls in maths and science was also disappointing. In 1989 KACE examinations, for example, only 11.8% of the girls enrolled of maths, 18.5% for physics, 28.5% for chemistry and 37.9% for biology (see Appendix IV). The majority of the girls who sat for the three examinations (1998 KACE 1989, KACE and KCSE) enrolled in at subjects.

In the previous education system, maths was compulsory only at the secondary school level (Form I-IV) but sciences were not. In forms V and VI students had an option to study either maths/sciences or art subjects. The majority of the girls enrolled in art subjects (Eshiwani, 1983, Njenga, 1986, 1992). In 8-4-4 education system, however, maths and sciences are compulsory. Students are only allowed to choose between either pure or general sciences. The pure sciences comprise of physics, chemistry and biology done as separate subjects. The general sciences consists of physical sciences and biological sciences. In this education system, most of the girls opt for physical and biological sciences. In the 1993 KCSE examination, for example, only 30.6% of the girls enrolled for physics, 30.9% for chemistry 40.9% for biology. In physical sciences the girls comprised 45% and 46% in biological sciences (see Table III). This preference of the majority of girls to study general sciences bars them from enrolling in maths - pure science based faculties like Medicine, Dental surgery, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Architecture. This means, that the majority of the girls because of their physical/biological sciences combination are left with only one option when enrolling in the universities, that of studying at based courses.

Empirical evidence exists to show that over the years the achievement of girls in promotion examinations (KCPE, and KCSE and former KACE) in maths and science subjects is much lower than that of boys. Table III, which analyse the achievement of girls and boys in these examinations, corroborate this.

Table III: Performance in KCSE Examination by gender Cluster 2: Maths and science


Total

A

C + +

D

2.1 Maths

Female

59,810

1,826

5.058

51,926


(100)

(3.1)

(10.1)

(86.3)

Male

80,616

6,215

14,970

59,431


(100)

(7.7)

(18.6)

(73.7)

2.2. Biology

Female

19,890

2,066

6,723

11,201


(100)

(10.4)

(33.8)

(55.8)

Male

28,742

4,452

11,169

13.121


(100)

(15.5)

(38.9)

(45.6)

2.3. Physics

Female

9,058

675

2,750

5,633


(100)

(7.4)

(30.4)

(62.2)

Male

20,486

3,657

7,609

9,220


(100)

(17.9)

(37.1)

(45.0)

2.4. Chemistry

Female

20,252

2,120

6,750

11,383


(100)

(10.5)

(33.3)

(45.0)

Male

31,703

4,407

11,986

15,310


(100)

(13.9)

(37.8)

(48.3)

2.5. Physicals Science

Female

39,254

1,144

8,034

30,076


(100)

(2.9)

(20.5)

(76.6)

Male

48,354

3,2798

14,245

31,331


(100)

(6.7)

(29.2)

(64.1)

2.6. Biological science

Female

39,263

2,148

10,212

26,903


(100)

(5.5)

(26.0)

(68.5)

Male

48,893

5,422

16,441

27,030


(100)

(11.1)

(33.6)

(55.3)

Source: Makau, B.M.M (1994) Review of significant statistics on Education of Girls and Women in Kenya. A paper presented at a national symposium on the education of girls at the garden Hotel, Machakos, Kenya in March 1994.

Table IV: Performance in the 1993 KCPE Examination by gender


Total

A to B

C + to D+

D + to E+

Maths

Female

184,849

33,277

113,187

38,385


(100)

(18.0)

(51.2)

(20.8)

Male

213,589

65,225

119,075

29,287


(100)

(30.5)

(55.8)

(13.7)

Science & Agriculture

Female

184,848

79,526

109,629

24,439


(100)

(37.2)

(51.3)

(21.4)

Male

213,594

79,526

19,629

24,439


(100)

(37.2)

(51.3)

(11.4)

Source: Makau, B. M. M. 1994.

In the 1993 KCPE examination, for example, only 18% of the girls attained A-B grades as against 30.5% the boys. In science and agriculture, the achievement was even lower, only 16.5% of the girls had A -B as against 34.2% of the boys (see Table IV).

In the 1989 KACE examinations the achievement of the majority of the girls in maths and sciences was also low. Very few girls obtained grade C and above in maths and physics. In maths only 10% obtained A, 14% B and 17% C. In Physics 11% obtained A, 3% B and 7% C. In biology and chemistry the achievement was much better. In biology 25% obtained A, 31% got B, 25% C. In chemistry, 17% obtained A, 124% B and 22% C (see Table IV).

In the 1989 and 1993, KCSE examination this trend is repeated (see appendices IV and V). In 1993, for example, very few girls attained grades B and above in maths (only 3% opposed to 7.7% boys), physics (7% as opposed to 17.9% boys).

The performance at KACE formerly and currently the KCSE determines enrolment in the universities in various faculties. In Medicine, Dental Surgery, Pharmacy, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Architecture, a student must have attained grade B and above to be able to enrol in these faculties. Since there is no gender preference in the university selection, it means that very few girls qualify for enrolment in these maths-science: based faculties. Appendices VII - X corroborated this discussion. Over the years the girls have continued to be underrepresented in the faculties of Medicine, Dental Surgery, Pharmacy, Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Engineering and Architecture.

In the 1990/91 academic year, for example only 18.7% of the girls enrolled for the undergraduate courses in Medicine, 23.5% in Pharmacy, 36.0% in Dental Surgery, 21% in Agriculture, 22% in Veterinary medicine and 16% for science. The enrolment in Engineering and Architecture were even lower, 5% for both. (Table IV). Table V: Female Enrolment in courses in University of Nairobi (Kenya), 1990/1991

Course

Undergraduate

Postgraduate

Design

43.0


Arts

41.5

31.2

Dental Surgery

36.0


B. Ed. (Ext)

33.3


Land Economics

32.8


Law

27.2

16.7

Anthropology

27.1


Pharmacy

23.5


Art & Cultural Studies

23.1


Commerce

22,9

21.2

Vet. Medicine

22.2

18.5

Agriculture

21.3

25.9

Medicine

18.7

22.0

Science

16.0

16.7

Building Economics

10.5


Engineering

5.1

1.2

Architecture

5.0

27.2

Journalism


51.5

African Studies


42.9

Population Studies


33.3

Diplomacy


8.0

Computer Science


5.9

Source: S.P. Wamahiu, F.A Oporido and G. Nyagah (1992)

During the same period, for the post-graduate courses, only 22% of the girls enrolled in Medicine, 31% for Dental Surgery, 25% for Agriculture, 19% for veterinary in Medicine, 17% science and 1% for Engineering. The enrollment of 27% in Architecture was encouraging considering the low enrollment at undergraduate level. This means that most of the girls who completed the undergraduate course enrolled for the post-graduate degree.

This trend of underrepresentation of girls in these maths-science based faculties has continued to date. The data Appendices VII- C corroborate this. It is interesting to note that the girls who excel in maths and science appear to prefer to enrol for Medicine, Pharmacy and Dental Surgery.

The main reason for this underrepresentation of girls in these faculties is twofold. First of all few girls as already noted enrol in pure sciences at KCSE. The achievement of these who do so is also often low.

Current Trends in Employment of Women in the Teaching Profession (Particularly Science)

At the primary schools level women are well represented. They number about 50% of the total teaching force.

However, at Secondary school level the girls are heavily out numbered by men. This is particularly so in B. Ed. Science The Secondary school teachers are university graduates of Bachelor of Education Science Degree. The reasons for underrepresentation of girls in the universities, particularly, in the math-science based faculties has already been discussed

Current Trends in Enrolment of Girls and Women in the Technical and Vocational Education System

Today, Kenyans, like all other people in the World are living in a rapidly changing technological world. To be able to survive and function efficiently in the world today we must possess necessary scientific and technology skills. This calls for those in school to study maths and science subjects as these will give them a head-start in entering technical oriented careers and therefore getting well paying jobs more easily.

Unfortunately, the participation of girls in maths, science and consequently technical oriented careers has remained very low.

In Kenya there are four types of technical institutes. The Youth Polytechnics which recruits students after KCPE to study craft and artisan courses. The Polytechnics, Technical Training Institutes and the Harambee Institute of Technology which all recruit students after KCSE to study diploma and certificate courses.

The ratio of girls to boys in the Youth Polytechnics is 1:1 (see Table VI). Unfortunately this is not the case for the other three institutions, namely the Polytechnics, Technical Training Institutes and the Harambee Institutes of Technology. The participation of girls in these institutions is very low. In 1990, for example, the girls comprised less than 26% of the total student enrolment in all the three institutions. This trend is repeated in the subsequent years from 1991-1992. There was, however, a slight improvement in 1993 where the percentage of girls rose to 30% in all the institutions, (see Table VI).

Table VI: Percentage and number of students in post secondary institutions by gender from 1990 - 1993

Type of institution

1990

1991

1992

1993


M

F

M

F

M

F

M

P

Polytechnics

4635

1817

6323

2520

6456

2573

6453

2585


74.5%

26.5%

74.5%

26.5%

71.5%

28.5%

71.4%

28.6%

Institutes of technology

4445

1324

4558

1455

4270

1363

3427

1854


75.8%

24.2%

75.8%

24.5%

78.8%

21.2%

64.9%

35.1%

Technical Training Institutes

4447

1429

5192

1657

5802

1852

5666

2225


75.8%

24.2%

75.8%

24.32%

75.8%

24.2%

71.8%

28.2%

Total

13257

4600

16073

5632

16528

5788

15546

6664


74.2%

25.8%

74.1%

25.9%

74.1%

25.9%

70.0%

30.0%

Source: Ministry of Education

Even for those who are recruited in these institutions, there is yet another gender imbalances in the selection of courses for study. The majority for the girls enrol in the art-based courses which include Tailoring, Institutional Management, Secretarial, Business Studies, Graphic Arts and Information Management and Liberal Studies. (See Table VII).

Table VII: Student enrolment by gender in 67 youth polytechnics

Course

Female

Male

Total

Clothing technology

106

7

113

A.C.C. I & II

162

248

410

Plumbing

3

28

197

Secretarial

173

24

39

Electrical

1

29

39

C.P.S

17

22

58

Mechanical

5

53

52

Agricultural Mechanic

1

51

56

General filter

11

45

15

Copy Typist

15

-

16

Carpentry & Joinery

4

15

16

Automotive

1

15


Total

499

561

1060

This means, therefore, that very few girls enroll for maths-science based courses. In 1989, for example only 2% of the girls in the Youth Polytechnics enrolled to study Building, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering courses. During the same year only 1.2% of the girls in the Diploma/Craft Institutions enrolled for Building, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering courses. This trend was repeated in all the Polytechnics in 1991 where only 6.3% of the girls enrolled for Building, 3.4% for Electrical Engineering and 2.7% for Mechanical Engineering (see Table VIII).

Table VIII: Kenya Polytechnic Student Enrolment Analysis by Department and Gender for all Students Entering the Polytechnic, 1991

Department

Male

Female

Total

%

Applied Science

268

81

349

23.2

Business Studies

171

205

376

54.5

Building and civil Engineering

150

10

160

6.3

Computer Studies

27

14

41

34.2

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

198

7

205

3.4

Graphic Arts

537

237

774

30.6

Institutional Management

23

132

155

85.2

Information and Liberal Studies

178

142

320

44.4

Mechanical Engineering

286

8

294

2.7

Surveying and Mapping

115

24

140

17.9

Mathematics and Statistics

125

52

177

29.4

Total

2078

913

2991

30.5

Source: S.P. Wamahiu et al. (1992)

The main reason for the low enrollment of girls in theses institutions and their underrepresentation in the maths-science based courses like Building, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering is twofold. First of all, there are very few girls who enroll for pure sciences in KCSE, which is the requirement for recruitment in these courses. The achievement of the few girls who attempt the maths-pure science combinations in KCSE is also low. Consequently, the majority of the girls do not qualify to study-the technical oriented courses. Hence their high enrolment in the art-based courses.

FACTORS (BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE) DETERMINING THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL.

Economic Trends

The trends for the current National Development Plan (1997-199) is Industrialization. To be able to realize her goal during this period, Kenya requires a workforce with technological skills.

Only those who have such skills are able to find jobs and therefore participate fully in the economic development of the country. The women, the majority of whom, as already noted, lack such skills, will miss out on the mainstream of economic development in Kenya.

It is anticipated that women, on realizing that technological skills are a prerequisite for job placement, will be motivated to acquire such skills.

Sociological (Cultural, Tradition, Religious Including Attitude Towards Science Technical Education)

Sociological aspects have had a significant negative impact on enrolment and achievement of girls in maths and science subjects and technical education. These aspects include:

· Mystification of Maths and Science Subjects
Students, teachers, parents and the community in general harbour a mistaken belief that maths and science subjects are extremely difficult and more so for the girls. As a result the girls receive very little encouragement from all those around them to study hard and excel in maths and sciences. They do not therefore put much effort in these subjects because they believe they cannot excel in them, hence their poor achievement.

· Adherence to traditional Roles of Women
There are still many communities in Kenya who believe that the major role for a woman is to be a mother and a wife. In such communities girls are married off very early. Many never enrol in school. Those who do so are often forced to leave school and are married off. Many leave school before they even acquire basic literacy.

· Poverty
When there are financial problems and the family cannot pay fees, it is often the education of the girls that is compromised. This view is corroborated by a study done by Njenga (1986). When she asked university graduates in her sample to list the sources of their fees, the men gave a wide range of sources. All the girls had only two sources, the main one being the father's salary or income. A few had fees paid by either an older brother or sister. All the girls in the sample came from families with a stable income. Most of their fathers were salaried. The majority of the men from very humble backgrounds. However, their families, relatives and the public did all that was possible, to ensure that they paid fees for them. No such efforts were recorded for any of the girls in the sample.

· Parental Aspirations and Parental Education
Parental aspirations, particularly those of the mother have a significant influence on the participation and achievement of girls in school. Parental aspirations are highly correlated to the educational level.
Parents who are educated value formal education. They therefore do not only take their children to school but they also pay all the dues. This ensures that their children do not miss school unless they are sick. They also encourage their children to study and excel in examinations. Children from such families often perform better in school than their counterparts who do not receive such financial and moral support.
In her study, Njenga, (1986) all the girls in her sample had literate parents. In particular, all the mothers had at least reached standard III. They were all literate. This was not the case with the men in the sample. A good number of them had mothers who were illiterate. This corroborates the evidence that educated mothers play a significant role or ensuring better education for their daughters.

· Stereotyped Expectations
In most African countries the teachers, parents and the community have continued to harbour stereotyped expectations of girls and careers they ought to join. They believe that technical subjects like engineering and architecture are for boys. They therefore give very little encouragement to girls to join such careers. It appears that the majority of the girls have also accepted these stereotyping expectations from society. This is because the majority of those who enrol and excel in maths and science opt to study either Medicine, Dental Surgery or Pharmacy. Appendices VII - X corroborate this. There are more girls studying these disciplines than there are in Engineering and Architecture even though the subject requirements are almost similar. Medicine and the related careers are considered more suitable for girls because their work environments are always close to the home. This makes it possible for the girls to perform their roles as wives and mothers more efficiently.

· Poor Socialization
In African tradition, girls are socialized not to compete with men. On entering school girls find themselves being required to constantly compete with boys. The latter (boys) perform better in maths and science because of the encouragement given to them by the teachers (most of whom are men) and parents. It takes a very strong willed girl to ignore the home socialization and put up a stiff competition against the boys. Empirical data exists to prove that only these girls who receive strong encouragement from home, particularly from their mothers, are able to compete favourably with boys. Such girls often excel in the so-called 'male' dominated subjects and careers (Njenga, 1986).

Technical (Related to the Changes in the World of Work)

The underrepresentation of girls in the technical institutes and in the faculties of Engineering and Architecture in the universities is mainly a result of non enrolment in maths and pure science and also poor achievement at the KCSE examination. This is mainly due to:

· Lack of role models whom girls and women can identify. There are very few girls working in these careers who can be used to motivate girls in school to enroll and excel in maths and science and consequently join technical related and other maths-science based careers.

· Lack of science facilities in most girls' schools militate against their achievement in maths and science in promotion examinations. Even though the government made maths and science compulsory in the secondary school cycle of the 8-4-4 system, little effort was put to provide relevant facilities for the study of science. The majority of the girls' school as noted earlier were not offering science prior to the 8-4-4 education system hence they are poorly equipped. Achievement in the KCSE in these schools has, therefore continued to be low due to lack of science facilities.

· Stereotyped expectations by the teachers, parents and the community has continued to militate against girls enrolling in technical-oriented careers.

Employment-related (employability, labour, market, structures, wages)

Although there are more jobs and better salaries in technical oriented careers in Kenya, girls and women have not been able to take advantage of this healthy job environment due to lack of technical skills. As already noted this is closely linked with their low achievement in the headstart subjects of maths and science in primary and secondary school promotion examinations.

Education (in general education, Science education and technical/vocational education)

Most of the factors that adversely affect girls' enrolment and achievement in maths, science and technical oriented careers have already been discussed, for example stereotyping expectations, lack of role models, poor science facilities in schools and poor socialization at home. Other factors include:

· Teachers
The majority of teachers teaching maths, science and technical subjects at all levels of our education system are men. In most cases, these teachers because of their socialization and stereotyping expectations, tend to encourage boys to excel in maths and science subjects. They often ignore the girls. At the time of making career choices they will often encourage boys to enrol in maths-science and technical based careers. They encourage the girls to enrol in art-based careers. This gender discrimination continues to negatively impact on participation and achievement of girls in maths-science based and technical careers.

· The Curriculum
Curriculum, particularly, prior to the review of 1992 was gender biased. Because of the examples given in the textbooks the majority of the girls felt that maths, science and technical careers were meant for boys. The girls were therefore not motivated to excel in maths and science subjects. The 1992 curriculum review attempted to develop gender sensitive content at all levels. It is anticipated that this will bear fruits in the future promotion examination results.

Measures to promote Equal Access of Girls to Science Education and Technical/Vocational Education

The measures instituted to promote participation of girls in maths, science and technical/vocational education include:

· Introduction of the 8-4-4- education system in 1985 which emphasized the study of maths, science and practical subject by all students. The greatest impact of this education system has been felt at the secondary school cycle with all girls studying maths and science. As a result of this initiative the percentage of girls entering technical and science oriented careers has slightly increased, particularly, from 1992.

· Review of curriculum in 1992 to develop gender sensitive content. Before embarking on this review the Kenya Institute of Education, (the curriculum development centre in Kenya) organised a short orientation course, “On Gender and Its Relevance to the Curriculum”. This course was attended by all those who participated in the review exercise. This ensured that they developed a gender sensitive curriculum. This objective was achieved, as can be seen from the current curriculum content.

· Carrying out extensive research in the 1980's on issues related to access, participation and achievement of girls in all levels of education with, particularly emphasis on maths, science and technical oriented careers. This research have been instrumental in conscientizing policy makers, teachers, parents and the public on the issue of low participation and low achievement of girls in maths and science and their underrepresentation in maths-science and technical based careers. It is important to point out that this advocacy has even reached the Head of State who in 1995, directed that the Ministry of Education (MOE) allocate extra funds to buy equipment and other science facilities for girls in secondary schools.

· Government seeking donor funding to be used to provide science facilities and textbooks in schools. A number of donors have given funds which have been used to buy textbooks and equipment in a number of schools.

· Advocacy through various NGOs using print and electronic media. FAWE has, in particular, played an important role of promotion girls' education through folk media, songs, TV, and radio shows.

· Lowering local university admission grade for girls by one grade. This has made it possible for more girls to enrol in the local universities.

· Ministry of Education directive in 1994 that girls who drop out of school due to pregnancy may continue with school after giving birth.

Difficulties and Constraints Encountered in the implementation of these measures

· Lack of adequate funds to provide science equipment and other facilities has highly compromised the realization of objectives of the maths-sciences and technical biased 8-4-4- education system. Due to lack of funds, for example, the Presidential directive to provide science facilities to all girls' secondary schools has not been implemented.

· Lack of adequate awareness about participation of girls' in various levels of education by the public resulted in the local university authorities stopping the one-grade lower entry provision for girls. Those opposed argued that this provision implied that girls were less intelligent than boys. They felt that instead of lowering the entry requirements for girls, efforts should be made to provide adequate science facilities for girls' secondary schools, as this is the main reason for their poor performance in KCSE.

· Lack of adequate knowledge on gender issues about the majority of the teachers and parents has continued to militate against the enrolment and achievement of girls in maths, science and technical oriented careers. Girls continue to receive very little encouragement at home and school, hence their under-enrollment and low achievement in these subjects.

· Lack of adequate science teachers, particularly women teachers who could act as role models for the girls to identify with. This has continued to compromise the enrolment and the achievement of girls in maths and sciences.

· Negative attitude of teachers, parents and the community has made the implementation of the MOE directive that girls who drop out of school may go back after delivery. Many of the parents feel that once the girl has a baby, she should either get married or get a job to support herself and the baby. The majority of the teachers refuse to allow the girls to back to the same schools. They prefer that they enrol in other schools where they are not known. They feel that by going back to the same schools such girls may become poor role models for the others.

Specific information

Compulsory Maths and Science Education

· The 8-4-4 education system is maths-science and technical education biased. All the pupils from primary to secondary school have to study maths, science and practical subjects. As a result, more girls are now studying these subjects. Their enrolment in technical oriented careers has also slightly increased in the technical institutes.

· In the 8-4-4 education systems, practical skills health and social education issues have been integrated in relevant subject areas. This ensures that the youth are adequately prepared to face the challenges of the contemporary and rapidly changing technological world.

Future Interventions

In order to improve access, and achievement of girls in maths, science and technical education, the following interventions should be put in place.

· Increased funding, particularly for providing science facilities for girl's secondary schools.

· Training all teachers and KIE curriculum developers on gender issues in order to ensure that they provide a girl-friendly environment and curriculum content. Such training will ensure that the teachers are supportive and encourage the girls to enrol and excel in maths and sciences. They will also encourage them to join the 'male dominated' careers.

· Creating awareness of parents on importance of girl's education and in particular maths and science education. This will ensure that parents start providing psychological support and encouragement to their daughters.

· Encouraging the women scientists and technologists to act as role models for young girls. This will give the girls a motivation and incentive not only to enrol but also to excel in the male dominated subjects and careers.

· Government and NGOs to continue with advocacy and public information through print and electronic media on issues of girls education and particularly achievement in maths and sciences.

· Increased research on access, participation and achievement of girls in maths, science and their enrolment in maths-science based and technical oriented careers. Finding from such researches should be widely disseminated because empirical data provides the greatest advocacy in the world today.

The Status of Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education of Girls in Madagascar

Raymondine RAKOTONDRAZAKA*

* Educationnal Planner.

The Republic of Madagascar, an island in the Indian Ocean, is inhabited by 12,421,000 persons, 50.4% of whom are women1. This population is characterized on the one hand by a very low educational level (83.3% of the population has had a primary education, at the most) and on the other hand by a high proportion of youths (64% of Madagascans are less than 25 years old). There is cultural diversity among the various groups, but they also share common cultural features, including the national language, Malagasy. French is used as the administrative language and for teaching, in addition to Malagasy. Madagascar is among the poorest countries in the world, and “nearly 75% of the population, which is growing at a rate of about 3% annually, lives below the poverty level.”2 It was in 1820, when Christian schools were first installed, that girls first began to receive instruction in Madagascar.

1 Institut National de la Statistique, Recensement Gral de la Population et de I'Hahitat, Version provisoire. Antananarivo, 1995 (National Statistics Institute. General Population and Habitat Census, Preliminary Version)

2 Rblique de Madagascar. Document Cadre de Politique Economique, 1996-1999. Antananarivo, p. 2. 1996

OVERVIEW

Status of Girls and Women

Even today, the traditional values in the attitudes and behaviour regarding women still subsist. The Madagascan proverb “Kofehy manara-mpanjaitra ny vehivavy,” which means “A woman is like the thread that follows the needle,” translates this image and situates the woman's place in Madagascan society - in the back seat. All social behaviour revolves around this philosophy, which strictly parcels out male and female roles.

Hence, the predominance of the male in society is generally accepted. Fathering a boy child becomes a goal, so that the paternal lineage can be perpetuated. At home, the woman, who is relegated to the background, takes on most of the domestic chores, even if she practices a trade. The strict division of roles between men and women has serious consequences on prolonged schooling for girls, particularly in needy families, as is the case for the majority of Madagascan homes. In fact, a girl's first responsibility is to lend a hand to her mother.

As far as the status of girls in school, the educational policy does not discriminate at all with regard to sex. Nonetheless, enrolment levels for girls in the educational system are still lower than for boys, despite parents' egalitarian attitude concerning sending their children to school.

In the community, the image of the “unobtrusive” woman tends, however, to be deceiving, for one observes women entering all areas (political, religious, social, economic, etc.), a phenomenon which tends to take on importance in a male-dominated society. This situation, inconceivable twenty years ago, has now, however, been favorably received by the general public.

Economic recession has somewhat shaken habits, and the idea of women working outside of the home is now largely accepted. Still, in the working world, where there is no sexually discriminating legislation, “the woman is disadvantaged compared to men at every level, be it in terms of wages or in the hierarchical order.”3

3 MADIO Project. Les inlitselon le sexe dans l'emploi. (Gender-based inequalities in Employment) Antananarivo. 1996.

The Role of Girls and Women in Socioeconomic Development and Employment Opportunities

In socioeconomic development, the national population policy adopted by the Government in 1990 gives prime place to girls and women. This policy provides for the following arrangements, among others:

- Encourage women to go into the technical and scientific branches, which can orient them towards new and promising sectors;

- Conduct research and popularize the technologies designed to lighten domestic tasks (...) and farm chores done by women;

- Incite women to participate in the community and political activities...

- Incite and promote training programmes for women...

Since 1989, job opportunities in the public sector have been very limited, due to the structural adjustment policy advocating a freeze on new employment. The private sector and by far the informal sector, remain the sectors which provide jobs. On the average, nearly one-quarter of households earn all or part of their income from an informal production unit. One (1) active person out of five (5) works in this sector. It is worth noting that “52% of informal activities are conducted by women,”4 and in this sector, “women's roles are more important in the urban setting than in the rural setting. In fact, in the rural are, women are called upon to do farming activities.”5

4 Idem.
5 Idem.

Current Trends in the Educational System

Law 94-033 bearing on the General Orientation of the Education and Training System in Madagascar, provides for four types of training and education:

- Basic education (preschool, primary, literary, home economics);
- General secondary education (first and second cycles);
- Higher education; and Technical and vocational training.

In primary education and the first cycle of general secondary education, which take 5 years and 4 years to complete, respectively, there are no specialized classes. For secondary education, there are three series of specialization, starting from the first class (second year of secondary cycle);

Table A.1.1: Secondary Science Education

Classes

1984/1985

1994/1995


Total

Inc Girls

%

Total

Inc Girls

%

Premi C

4 949

1 498

30,3

3 245

1 384

42,7

Premi D

15 211

6 552

43,1

7 134

3 273

45,9

S/Total Premi

20 160

8 050

39,9

10 379

4 657

44,9

Terminale C

4 616

1 450

31,4

3 551

1 222

34,4

Terminale D

14 800

6 161

41,6

7969

3 255

43,4

S/total Terminale

19 416

7 611

39,2

11 520

7 677

40,6

Total C Se

9 565

2 948

30,8

6 796

2606

38,3

Total D Se

30 011

12 713

42,4

15 103

6 728

44,5

Total sciences

39 576

15 661

39,6

21 899

9 334

42,6

- A or Literary Series;
- D or Scientific Series, without any predominating scientific subjects;
- C or Science Series, with chiefly mathematical subjects.

Participation of Girls in the Scientific Streams

In this area, we shall consider:

· the scientific series of second cycle secondary schools;

· the scientific streams at university faculties (Math, Physics/Chemistry, Natural Sciences, Economy and Management).

Considering just the scientific streams, an analysis of current trends shows that whatever the level of education, the proportion of girls remains less than that of boys (42% in 1995).

· At the General Secondary Education Level

Overall, one sees a reduction in the proportion of students (boys and girls) enrolled in the scientific series - while in 1990, 59% of the students took this series, that proportion had dropped to 56% in 1995. The same phenomenon can be observed for girls, especially for 1990, when only 51 out of 100 signed up for the science series; by 1995 this had dropped to 28 out of 100. Despite this reduction, the proportion of girls in this series remains substantial all the same. This is explained by the same internal yield for girls and boys at this level of studies.

At the same time, girls' participation in the C Series is much lower than for the D Series (in 1995, out of 100 girls in the last year of school (“Terminale”), 58 were enrolled in the literary series and 32 in the D Series, with only 10 in the C Series.

· In Higher Education

Just like the trend at the secondary level, one observes a drop in the proportion of students enrolled in the science streams. This could be explained on the one hand by the fact that stricter criteria for selection have been established, and on the other hand by the application of measures tending to limit the number of years that can be repeated during a cycle. These corrective measures, particularly for collegiate-type establishments, fall in line with the policy to improve the quality of higher education. Out of 100 students enrolled in universities in 1990, 41 were in the scientific streams. This figure dropped to 34 in 1995. As for girls, this proportion remained the same over this period, when 35 out of 100 were enrolled in that area. The indicator for internal efficiency indicator shows that girls perform better than boys in these streams, and consequently are less affected by the corrective measures. Indeed, while this proportion remained relatively stable from 1990-91 (at 37%), it began to rise in 1994, reaching 42% in 1995.

Tableau A1.3: Higher Education

Streams

1989/1990

1994/1995


Total

Inc. Girls

%

Total

Inc. Girls

%

Scientific

15 320

5 693

37,4

8 296

3 493

42,1

Medical Sciences

5 019

2 265

45,1

3 935

1 846

46,9

Agronomy

286

101

35,3

481

166

34,5

Administration (Ecole normale)

967

344

35,6

310

216

35,4

Computer Sciences

175

35

20,0

151

33

21,9

Polytechnic

2 149

302

14,1

1 044

146

14,0

Technical & Vocational

8 596

3 047

35,4

6 211

2 407

38,7

Participation of Women Professors in Technical and Vocational Education

In this section, we will consider:

a) Public professional colleges (2 years of study after 5 years in primary);

b) Secondary public technical colleges and high schools (entry after 1st cycle of general secondary school);

c) Higher vocational training establishments within the universities.

· At the Vocational College Level

These establishments were created in the 1980s for the purpose of recruiting primary-level students having left school. Considering the number of establishments and more particularly the very low number of students enrolled compared to the target population (10% at the most), this type of establishment does not seem to have attained its objectives. The proportion of girls in these institutions has varied little, hovering at around 40% over the past 5 years. 70% of these girls are enrolled in schools in the capitol, with the majority following the “cutting and sewing” stream.

· At the Technical College and High School Level

As one can tell by the enrolment levels, technical education in Madagascar is not well developed. In fact, in 1993, out of 38,196 students in the public secondary cycle, only 6,396 (17%) were in technical areas. Female participation at the technical schools is relatively weak: out of 6,396 students, 2,125 were girls, or 33% of the total enrolment. However, there is a strong presence of girls in the tertiary sector - 73% compared to 23% in civil engineering and 4% in the industrial sector. It would appear, therefore, that girls are less attracted by the last two sectors. This behaviour seems on the one part to reflect the poor public opinion of technical education, and on the other part the division of male and female roles reserving technical subjects for boys.

Tableau A.1.2: Technical Secondary Education


1988/1989

1992/1993

Sectors

Total

Inc. Girls

%

Total

Inc. Girls

%

Tertiary

2 326

1 421

61,1

2 306

3 493

67,1

Civil Engineering

2 848

456

16,0

2 840

1 846

17,3

Industrial

1 725

137

07,9

1 250

166

06,5

Total

6 899

2 014

29,1

6 396

216

33,2

· In the Advanced Technical Establishments

One can only be admitted to this type of establishment by passing an exam, with the exception of the higher institutes of science and health, where up until 1994/95, candidates were admitted through a selective process. Consequently, in terms of absolute value, the enrolment levels at these establishments were relatively the same, as the number of students that can be admitted is fixed, and the internal efficiency level for such studies is high. In 1994, there was a total of 7 892 students in vocational colleges, compared to an overall total (all students at all the universities) of 26,937. In relative value, the proportion depends chiefly on the total number of students enrolled at the universities, which dropped as sharply as a result of the corrective measures. While it was 23.2% in 1990, in 1994 it had reached 29.3%. While the enrolment for girls is always lower than for boys in higher education, this is especially true in the technical and professional/vocational streams. In fact, 45% of students attending university are female. They represent only 38% of those in the technical/vocational areas. This proportion has risen slightly, however, from 35% in 1990 to 39% in 1995.

Teaching Staff

For the teaching personnel, we shall consider three categories:

- General Secondary;
- Technical Secondary;
- Higher Education.

For each of these categories, there are much fewer female teachers than male teachers.

· General Secondary Education

Out of 100 teachers in general secondary school (all specialities combined), 47 are women. 41% of teachers at this level teach science. Among those science teachers, 38% are women.

Tableau A.2.1: In General Secondary Education)


Secondary Education, 1st cycle

Secondary Education, 2nd cycle

Subjects

Total

Inc. women

% Women

Total

Inc. Women

% women

Mathematics

1112

319

28,7

28,7

287

22,3

Natural Sciences

944

527

527

55,8

328

63,7

Physics/Chemistry

909

253

253

27,8

2581

27,9

S/total scientific

2965

1099

1099

37,0

866

39,6

Total (All Subjects combined)

6782

3086

3086

45,5

2466

51,5

· Technical Secondary Education

Out of 1 193 technical teachers (all specialities combined), 358 are women, or 30%. Among the professional staff, 854 have a science and technology diploma, and 183 or 21% of them are women. While they are strongly represented in the tertiary sector, where they represent 60% of the staff, this proportion falls to just 2% in the other combined sectors (industry and civil engineering).

Tableau A.2.2: In Technical Education (1995-96)

Sectors

Total

Inc. Women

%

General Subjects

386

192

49,7

Tertiary

118

71

60,1

Civil Engineering

358

01

00,3

Industrial

127

02

01,6

Home Economics

87

87

100,0

Agric. Animal Husbandry

16

6

37,5

Total

1092

359

32,8

· Higher Education

There are 865 professors in the six universities of Madagascar, including 259 women representing 30%. According to a classification system based on diploma specializations, one notes the poor representation of women holding scientific degrees (in management, economics, chemistry, natural sciences, physics, medicine...). The ratio is even lower, for out of 100 science degree holders, only 13 are women. Due to the freeze on job recruitment, this trend has remained the same.

Table A.2.3: Higher Education


1993/1994

1994/1995

Discipline

Total

Inc. Women

%

Total

Inc. Women

%

Management

13

5

38,5

14

6

42,9

Economics

26

10

38,5

27

10

40,4

Chemistry

55

23

41,8

57

23

20,6

Physics

66

13

19,7

68

14

16,3

Mathematics

46

8

17,4

49

8

20,6

Natural Sciences

117

51

43,6

120

52

43,3

S/total Sciences

323

110

34,1

335

113

33,7

medicals Sciences

56

8

14,3

64

10

15,6

Dental Surgery

18

6

33,3

19

5

26,3

Agronomy

20

2

10,0

21

2

9,5

Computer Science

9

1

11,1

9

1

11,1

Other Engineering

149

15

10,1

152

15

9,9

S/total technique et professional

252

32

12,7

265

33

12,5

FACTORS DETERMINING GIRLS' ORIENTATION TOWARDS SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.

Despite the declarations of intention aimed to encourage women to take a greater interest in the technical and scientific branches as part of the national population policy (Cf. supra), one is obliged to admit that no concrete actions have been undertaken to that end.

Even to date, no studies exist highlighting the factors that really determine how girls are oriented towards scientific, technical and vocational education. This issue certainly merits serious, in-depth study.

The following analysis will advance a few hypotheses concerning these factors. Factors can be of two kinds: on the one hand, the direct factors, and on the other, those which can act indirectly on orienting girls towards scientific, technical and vocational education.

Factors Related to Employment and Labour

The criteria for recruitment and the modalities of remuneration in the Civil Service, based only on one's diploma level, failed to inspire students to go into the scientific, technical and vocational streams. In fact, since the sole objective was to obtain a diploma, it was deemed easier to get it in the literary streams. For girls, this was even further aggravated by the attitude of reserving the technical areas and hence related trades for boys only.

The private sector, particularly in the productive factor, favoured by an economic policy opting for the market economy, has become the first provider of jobs in the formal sector, due to the job freeze in the public sector, and it seeks candidates predominantly from the technical and scientific areas. This could encourage students to turn a little more towards technical and vocational training.

The preponderance of the informal sector has now become a factor hindering greater school attendance, and hence orientation towards technical and vocational education. This sector, in fact, where most of the workers are women, aims essentially at meeting household needs and is oriented more and more towards commercial activities that do not always require any special technical skills.

The massive implantation of free-zone enterprises operating namely in the clothing industry, seems to constitute another factor that discourages girls from turning towards technical and vocational training. These companies have a high potential in terms of employment, yet do not require high technical skills to qualify. In fact. they recruit essentially women (84% of personnel).

Factors Related to Social Behaviour

At the same time, in the past few years there has been an emergence of national efforts to raise awareness about women's role in the development process. As previously mentioned, this conscious-awakening has been accompanied by women entering areas previously reserved for men (as ministers, deputies, mayors, heads of companies, etc.). The stellar image of these women could inspire young women to go on to higher studies and to choose training streams other than those traditionally frequented by girls.

Moreover, a change in mentalities accepting the idea of women working outside of the home seems to be a positive factor stimulating girls' orientation towards technical and vocational education. In that scope, studies show that parents as well as their daughters who come from a rural environment, are now aspiring for a more technical and professional education so that the latter can practice a trade later on.

Technological Factors

The country's poor technological development has hindered its ability to create many jobs. Since recruitment perspectives have an influence on the streams chosen by students, this situation has not encouraged their orientation (boys and girls) towards technical and scientific areas. Moreover, the majority of existing enterprises prefer to hire people with very little skills and then proceed to train them on-the-job or for specialized tasks. Hence, the young people see no need to take up any specific technical training in order to get a job.

At the same time, one notes that the development of computer science use in the private and public structured sectors, has created a high demand for training in that area and generated a proliferation of small training establishments. There is high female participation in the “Office Skills” cycles.

Factors Related to Education

The lack of a clear orientation and information policy in both the secondary and the higher education systems, is a major block to orienting students towards technical and vocational education. This shortcoming is aggravated by a lack of information about job opportunities in the country which could influence the choices pupils/students make.

The three ministries in charge of formal education (Primary and General Secondary. Technical and Vocational Education. Higher Education) are currently drafting a document on Sectorial Policy for Education. Hopefully, this policy will succeed in correcting shortcomings at the orientation level.

In secondary technical and vocational education, the paucity of areas of specialization responding to girls'aspirations is one of the principle factors limiting their orientation towards this type of education. Moreover, the areas that do interest them are available only in the major cities. This inaccessibility constitutes a second discouraging factor.

Access to higher education for graduates from technical high school is very limited, This state of affairs makes high school students reticent towards technical education, for it prevents them from gaming access to more advanced studies permitting them to obtain higher diplomas - the guarantees of better income and hence of social prestige. Technical education therefore becomes a second choice.

The diversification of the vocational streams and institutes as initiated in the framework of the recovery policy for higher education beginning in 1993, could certainly pull in a greater number of male and female students and encourage them to opt for the scientific series. Indeed, the possession of a science baccalaureate is one of the conditions for admission to most of these institutes.

MEASURES TENDING TO PROMOTE EQUAL ACCESS OF GIRLS TO SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION

The legislation in force makes no gender discrimination for or against anyone desiring to undertake any type of education, be it at the secondary level or higher. As was already mentioned above, all the declarations to encourage women to become more involved in the technical and scientific branches have remained at the good intention stage: no arrangements have been made to really promote girls' access to this type of schooling.

National Strategies and Structural Measures

A National Action Plan for the Education of Girls was adopted by the Government in 1995. However, this plan, which focuses on the promotion of schooling for girls in general, does not provide for any specific activities favouring their technical and professional education.

As for secondary vocational and technical school, priority is still focused on the general promotion of this type of education. This preoccupation led the Government to upgrade the Directorate of Technical and Vocational Training into a ministry. The Government set up a major reinforcement project to restructure and develop this type of training, which it calls the “Project for the Reinforcement of Technical and Vocational Training,” financed by the World Bank. Moreover, a National Council of Technical and Professional Training in which the private sector plays an important role, was created and disposes of funds to finance vocational training actions. In that framework, actions favouring training for girls and women are a priority.

At the higher education level, the policy now in force encouraging the professionalization of education will undoubtedly influence students' attitudes towards scientific, technical and professional education.

Public Information Campaign

Although no specific public sensitization or information campaign exists concerning scientific and technical education for girls on the national scale, still, one can mention the start of sensitization for promoting more advanced education for girls. Over the past years, the government has taken advantage of the celebration of International Women's and African Women's Days to raise public awareness about the role of women in the development process, and the education of girls, particularly their orientation towards technical and vocational education, making it one of the most highly recommended means of passing the message.

Incentive Measures Favouring Employment

Despite the Government's obvious will to create an environment propitious of creating jobs, as seen in the following actions:

· the integration of the private sector on boards of directors of public higher institutes of learning;

· priority given to vocational training projects;

· the creation in each region of an Observatory of Competency and Employment, in charge of Professional orientation and employment,

its incentive measures still seem inadequate. There are a few related projects underway, conducted in collaboration with multilateral partners, and NGOs, aimed at facilitating self-employment. These projects are implanted in the provinces' administrative seats. Particular mention can be made of the project executed by the ILO, entitled “The Socioeconomic Promotion of Madagascan Women: Through Professional Training Required to Exercise Income-Generating Activities.”

Generally speaking, the application and prolongation of these measures is confronted by financial problems, due to Madagascar's difficult economic situation.

SPECIFIC INFORMATION CONCERNING SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION

This section chiefly concerns the study programme at the primary and secondary education levels. The programme is unique and national for each year of study for both levels. Science subjects are included in the academic program, as specialized subjects (primary and secondary), and are mandatory.

Number of Hours Spent on Scientific Subjects

· At the Primary Level

The scientific subjects (calculation and everyday knowledge) take up a total of 6 hrs, 30 mins. out of 27 hrs, 30 mins. of study a week, for each year of study. They come second after the mother tongue.

· At the General Secondary Level (Up until the third year (“Seconde” or “Deuxi” = 11th grade)

The proportion of hours occupied by the scientific subjects (math, physics, chemistry and natural sciences) increases as the level of study rises, taking up an average of 35% of the total number of hours (or about 10 hours out of 29 a week), up until the second year of high school (Troisi), and reaches 41% in the third year (Deuxi).

Starting with the third year (Premiere, or 10th grade), where one begins to specialize by series, the proportion of hours devoted to the scientific subjects diminishes noticeably in the literary series (26% in 3rd year and 18% in last year). In the C and D science series, the three scientific subjects (math, physics/chemistry and natural sciences) out of 11 subjects taught take up a large share, with 47% of class time.

Teaching related to the environmental sciences, focusing particularly on its protection, is dispensed within the framework of civic education which is mandatory, at the primary level and in secondary school, first cycle.

Education related to health issues, beginning in 5th grade (7), is integrated into the “everyday knowledge” subjects. It is worth pointing out that the notion of sexually transmissible diseases (including AIDS) is addressed as early as 5th grade (7).

· For Secondary Technical and Vocational Education

Considering that graduates from this type of education are expected to be immediately operational on the job market, the hourly volume of the technical and technological subjects takes up a large chunk of time: about 51 % for every year of study.

Data on Girls' Achievements

While it has been proven by studies and statistics that generally speaking, girls succeed better than boys, to date, no specific study has been conducted to evaluate the scientific achievement of girls.

CONCLUSION

The extreme poverty now prevailing in the country has resulted in a deterioration of social services, including education. The phenomenon of no schooling and of school dropouts has reached disturbing proportions. As a result, the main concern is to correct this state of affairs, even if statistics show that other problems exist, such as the underrepresentation of girls, namely in primary school and in technical and vocational education.

In light of the activities currently under way at the national level on the one hand, and on the other hand of the beginning of a change of attitude regarding the role/status of women and of thinking about technical and vocational education, one can hope that the next few years will bear witness to better development of scientific and technical education in favour of girls in Madagascar.

Promotion of the Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Malawi

T. ALIDE*

*University of Malawi, The Polytechnic

BACKGROUND

Malawi is a large extent a traditional society (Rayes 1973) with 90% of its population living in the rural areas, 53% of whom are women (GOM).

Traditional norms and values have defined distinct roles for men and women. Parents prepare the girl child to ba a subservient of man and the boy child to effectively play the role of a provider for a successful marriage. This has an effect on the parents' “ and children's aspirations, consequently their attitudes about education and training, particularly in the areas of science, technical and vocational education and training which they find very challenging.

The formation of the National Commission for Women in Development (NCWID° in 1984 and the Chitukuko Cha Amayi M'Malawi (CCAM) in 1985 were an attempt to address constraints women encounter in development. Several initiatives were launched as interventions.

Status of Women at Homes

The current policy document for women in Malawi (not dated) outlines roles that women play, which include, parental, occupational, conjugal, kinships, community, individual and social roles. According to the policy document, the 1977 census indicated that 70% of full-time farmers were women. Although men were engaged in farming activities, Clerk (1975 in the Policy Document) revealed that 50-70 percent of all farming activities were handled by women with or without their husbands. In addition, the woman has to fetch firewood and draw water, both of which have to be carried on the head. The woman also has to prepare food for the family and tidy up the home.

The policy document refers to a study of women's activities in five selected areas in Malawi which revealed that women spent almost as much time in the garden as in domestic activities. While men's activities are one off apart from farming, women's activities are routine for as long as one lives.

A study by Engberg (1982) referred to by the policy document revealed that women's work days lasted 12 hours with household tasks taking 4-6 hours while men had a 4-6 hour workday. Efforts by research institutions to develop simple time and energy saving devices have reduced the burden, but more has to be done to alleviate the women from this suffering (World Bank, 1991).

Despite the multiple roles described above, the socio-economic status of women leaves a lot to be desired. Culture and traditional practices deny the woman equal status and the same power as man, which contributes to the women's lack of confidence, self affirmation and low self worth (GOM).

Status of Girls/Women in School

The Illiteracy rate for women is 68.4%. This has an implication on their socio-economic and socio-cultural status. At the early stages of education, the number of boys is comparable to that of girls (World Bank, 1991) but as they progress the dropout rate for girls is more than that of boys, and by the time they finish primary, a third of the initial intake will have dropped out, reasons, being the lack of school fees, inadequate teachers, inadequate teaching and learning materials/facilities (Fabiano, 1992), and a curriculum that may not be catering the needs of girls. This tends to lower girl's aspirations, leading to poor performance and eventual withdrawal, or indulgence in unnecessary and harmful behaviour.

The policy document noted that more girls shy away from science subjects and if they do decide to take such subjects, their performance is low as compared to that of boys. Science, through a directive from the Ministry of Education in the mid-1980's, was made compulsory, and the low performance of girls was expounded by Kadzamira (1987) through her research on the subject, which confirmed beyond a doubt the speculation that boys outperformed girls in sciences. But Katzamira wondered whether this was in line with findings in Western countries that boys do better in numerical and spatial tasks while girls do better in linguistic and verbal tasks.

The policy document also noted that girls avoid technical/vocational subjects. Data from the Ministry of Labour which is responsible for the recruitment of apprentices (Annex II (f) confirms this situation.

Status of Women in the Community

The status of women in the community is affected by low education (World Bank, 1991). Their output is limited by their capabilities and only a few take up the challenge to compete with men in community services. One can easily notice this through under-representation of women in various fora. Women and girls are thought to be shallow, feeble-minded, emotional and less able to cope with situations. This affects their contribution even at policy level. It is with this view that the policy document, after acknowledging the fact that the Development Plan 1987-1996 (DEVPOL) recognised the role women play, noted that gender differences and women's needs were note adequately articulated to guide development programmes for them.

In an attempt to improve women's education for better participation, adult literacy centres were established but have not been very effective in raising the status of women.

Status of Women in Employment

The policy document stated that women's participation in the formal sector is only 15% and that their involvement is mostly in jobs that require low skills. Women and girls are thought to be of low ability and achievement but usually most trustworthy.

Despite the fact that they are trustworthy when it comes to responsibility sharing, bosses shy away from giving big responsibilities to females, and both male and female juniors find it more difficult to take instructions from a woman boss. A woman boss has to work twice as much to gain recognition, and if successful she is sailed to possess manly character. It is this practice that denies females occupation of posts at senior level. The 1977 population census (World Bank, 1991) indicates the following:

Table 1: Comparative percentage of males and females in each occupational category

Occupation

Percentage of Men

Percentage of Women

Professional and technical

74.4

25.8

Administrative and Managerial

86.1

4.9

Clerical

87.1

12.9

Sales

80.1

19.9

Services

81.2

18.8

Agriculture

47.7

52.0

Production Transport Labour

80.3

9.7

Unclassified

69.3

30.7

A similar indication was made by Gondwe (1989) after conducting a survey of eight manufacturing and trade companies in Blantyre. 4.5% of the managers, 5.4% of the supervisors and 21.9% of other employees were females.

Through analysis of data from the National Statistics office for the years 1985 and 1992, there is an indication that more girls and women are being employed in the formal sector. There is however, substantial increase in some areas like Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Mining and Quarrying with an average of 71.38% and a drop of 74.6% in manufacturing. Whether or not this increase in employment, has a corresponding increase in women's occupation of managerial and administrative jobs and access to male dominated areas, remains to be investigated.

Employment of women in the teaching of science in secondary school also increased, from 123 in 71 schools in the 1991/92 academic year, to 151 teachers in 57 schools in the 1995/96 academic year. The enrolment of female science students at Chancellor College increased from 17.3% in 1992 to 19.6% in 1995. (Annex II) ©. A lot is being done in the form of initiative to increase self-employment opportunities for girls and women.

Evaluation of Gender Related Policies/Measures

Despite the launching of various programmes to enhance the participation of women in development, the policy document indicates that the effect of such programmes has been minimal as may be evidenced by a still low status of women in various sectors of development. A summary of reasons is as follows:

i) Lack of capacity building for effective management of the programmes;

ii) Lack of coordination resulting into failure of initiatives to complement each other;

iii) Inadequate funding for sustainable development of the initiatives

iv) Some programmes not specifically catering for the needs of the women resulting from inadequate articulation of needs.

Although access to science in primary and secondary school has been increased the performance of girls as compared to boys in this area has not improved.

The 1987-1996 Development Policy made specific mention of the improvement of technical education for women, but statistics from the Ministry of Labour indicate an average of 4.6% access for a period of 5 years. Statistics from the Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi, however, show a steady increase in the enrolment of girls/women in Diploma/degree and technician programmes for the period between 1987 and 1991 (Annex II (b).

In conclusion then, the policies and measures have to a certain extent been effective but the effect has not made much impact on the status of women, especially in the rural areas where the majority of Malawians live.

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE FACTORS DETERMINING THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENCE, TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

National Economic Development

Economic development versus population growth has not done very well in Malawi. The annual per capita income has dropped from US$ 200 last year to US$ 150 this year (UND, 1997). This has negative impact on the expansion of educational facilities and on the living standards of the people. With an average transition rate of 10.2 from 1991 to 1995 (MOE, 1995), there is a lot of competition. This competition also exists in the family when parents have to decide on who goes to a good private secondary school or to a Malawi Distant Education Centre. The male child goes to a better school (Chawanje 1989).

65% of the schools in Malawi do not have adequate teaching and learning materials (Fabiano, 1992). Science equipment in most private schools and Malawi Distant Education Centre is basic. Even some conventional secondary schools have similar problems. Most girls therefore fail to recognise the practicality of some concepts in science and mathematics. With their visual spatial difficulties, girls find it even more difficult to cope (See Table 5 (a). Primary schools, however, are provided with science kits made by the School Science Project funded by the German Government. How effective these kits are in attracting girls has not been established.

The Status of technical subjects in schools provides a very gloomy picture. Khowoya (1992) summarised the problems as follows:

a) Inadequate number of technical teachers in secondary school;

b) Brain drain of technical teachers into the industrial sector;

c) Insufficiency of workshop tools and materials;

d) Damage and lack of maintenance of workshop machine and equipment;

e) Lack of physical and moral support by the Government and the private sectors for technical education;*

f) Low participation of girls in technical education.

Low transition rate also creates a problem for those who would like to progress with technical subjects, as they are sometimes selected to an institution that does not have technical education facilities. The small number of technical primary and secondary schools has failed to impact on the selection criteria at Secondary, University and Technical Colleges. Selection into Engineering courses does not consider school technical skills. The same applies to technical/vocational courses in technical Schools/Colleges. This may be discouraging to girls/women.

Malawi is in the process of formulating a vision statement. The draft vision statement (1996) advocates a shift from an agricultural based economy to one that is technologically driven. A major strength that Malawi has is fertile soil, which indicates that for years to come, Malawi will depend on agriculture to create a technologically driven economy. This requires a boost in the agricultural industry. Since most women are engaged in agriculture, for them to fully participate, they require a set of specific skills as well as the more general skills for increased agricultural production. Increased agricultural production requires capabilities in problem solving that are required to improve technologies. Scientific and technical know-how is a prerequisite for the above, which women do not have, as a result their failure to occupy male dominated posts. It is, however, apparent here that they can non longer afford to sideline science and technology. But if men continue to ignore the contribution of women in this venture, the vision may not be realised.

The Government's intention to build 250 secondary schools, free secondary education for girls and free primary education for all are major steps to promote girl's access to science and technical education. The Government also, with funding from Germany, intends to establish more vocational training centres which will increase girls/women's access to technical/vocational education and training.

Sociological Trends

Distinct roles identified by traditional norms and values which place the woman in the kitchen and the man under the tree, each playing his or her role, and teaching their children such roles, has created a gap between the two sexes. Girls play with dolls and practice cooking and associated activities, while boys are involved in the making and dismantling of toys, trying to make improvements each time, and practice building and associated activities. Boys' activities are more science and technology related than those of girls. In the process, boys develop a critical mind, logical thinking and problem solving capabilities as they meet new challenges (Chawanje, 1989). Girls' activities are monotonous and give them low aspirations. It may be for this reason that girls/women lack confidence, patience and perseverance, they easily give up before they even attempt to put up an effort. Therefore, science and technical fields which require such characteristics as stated above remain a male domain. Although girls may want to take part in science and technical education as revealed by Khowoya (1992), their capabilities may not allow them to persist. It is therefore necessary to remove gender stereotypes and involve girls in activities that should develop their creativity and imagination at an early age. The development of a critical mind may enable girls to critically examine certain traditional practices like early marriages, and activities associated with initiations to marriages. Although the social mobilisation campaign is being expanded, the schools have to respond for the needs to be realised.

Technological Trends in the World of Work

The World of work in Malawi is agriculture which employs almost 90% of the population. Not much has changed in agriculture; the hoe still remains the most useful and widely used tool in cultivation. 95 percent of smallholder farmers use the hoe and only 2 percent have ploughs (World Bank, 1995).

In 1995, Malawi Industrial Research and Technology Development Centre conducted a needs assessment survey in six Local Impact Areas in Malawi to determine appropriate technology needs of the areas. Most of the technology requirements listed in the directory produced are to be used by women.

Intensification of research and development would increase the uptake of technology, thus drawing girls and women nearer to technology, which would eventually develop in them some interest to repair or suggest improvements on the technological products.

Not much has changed in industry and commerce except the use of computers, which seems to be on the increase in most offices, but not in production. The most used piece of technology in schools is the radio. Some schools have audio/visual equipment and only a few rich private schools provide access to computers.

Employment Related Trends

The World Bank (1991) once stated that the majority of women are not employable because they lack skills. This is why the majority are subsistent farmers. Those employed are mostly self-employed in small business in urban and semi-urban areas. The World Bank (1991) indicated that women are found in food and beverages processing, pottery and beer brewing, and that only 25 percent of tailors using sewing machines are women, and yet needlework in schools is done by women/girls only. Apart from those who are teachers, nurses and secretaries, there is a small fraction in other professional and business fields. Initiatives to empower women have, however, introduced several skill training programmes for women which may incite them to develop positive attitudes towards technical/vocational education, but a lot more has to be done to access girls to professions that have scientific and technological underpinnings.

Jobs that require technical skills are not adequately remunerated as opposed to white collar jobs. Those who have gone through a 4-year technical training find themselves being paid less than their colleagues who acquired a white collar job straight from school. Unless this problem is addressed, technical training will continue to have low status and be less attractive to women/girls.

There are no differential salary structures for males and females occupying the same posts in the formal sector. However, in the informal sector especially in agriculture, such treatment exists. The World Bank, (1991) presented the following picture:

Table 2. Average Daily Pay (Tambala) for women and men in ten flue-cured tobacco Estates in Kasungu District, 1984

Estate

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

Women

43

58

46

54

58

56

44

48-58

18-55

58

Men

58

58

58

58

58

58

58

58

44-55

58

If women are to be encouraged to fully participate in technical/vocational education and training, differential treatment has to be abolished.

Education Trends

Since science at both primary and secondary school was made compulsory, it can be said that both girls and boys have equal access to science in schools (Kadzamira, 1987). However, the science education being offered is more theoretical than practical and is examination oriented (Fabiano, 1992). As such, it is easily forgotten once one finishes school unless one is engaged in a science related job.

Efforts are being made to improve the performance of girls in science subjects. Research carried out by Hyde (1993) revealed that gender streaming in science subjects can raise the results of both boys and girls, but gender streaming is considered by many to prevent interaction between boys and girls, which is considered to be very important. Hyde noted that in mixed schools girls form a 30 percent minority and are younger. They are subject to verbal and psychological harassment when they show signs of high performance.

The secondary school science competition (GOM, 1995) which rewards the best three students and the best schools in two categories, one for males and the other for females, is a very positive move to encourage girls to do well in science.

The prevocational nature of school technical education makes it so superficial that prior learning is not considered in technical colleges. Students end up repeating what they had done in school, but with precision. This can be demotivating to both boys and girls.

Activities in the workshop require muscular strength which is associated with men, although women, do pounding which is heavier than workshop activity. This makes girls shy away from technical subjects.

The World Bank (1991) gave an indication that inadequate accommodation for girls in technical/vocational institutions could be one of the possible reasons preventing access of girls to technical/vocational education. There is hostel for girls at the Lilongwe School of Health Sciences with a capacity of 40 students which lies empty. The school requires credits in English, Mathematics, Biology and Physical Science. Many girls don't apply despite being encouraged to do so. Enrolment in a number of courses during the 1995/96 academic year at this school is as follows:

Table 3: Enrolment at Lilongwe School of Health Sciences

Course-Initial

Total

Male

Female

Course 1

77

66

11

Course 2

21

16

5

Mature, Entry

Total

Male

Female

Course 1

25

21

4

Course 2

20

17

3

Course 3

21

15

6

Source: Given by the Principal of the School

At the Kamuzu College of Nursing, a constituent College of the University of Malawi, the reverse is true. There are more girls than boys as the table below indicates.

Table 4: Student Enrolment at Kamuzu College of Nursing 1988/89-1994/95

Year

Total

Male

Female

% Female

1988/89

399

230

169

42

1992/93

262

28

234

89

1994/95

262

35

227

87

Source: Basic Education Statistics 1933 and 1995 (GOM).

The number of boys has dwindled so much within six years so that nursing remains a female dominated area. Attempts are being made at the Zomba School of Nursing to break this tradition. In the 1995/96 academic year, out of an intake of 44 students, 32 were males and the rest females. However, one can rarely find male nurses in hospitals in Malawi.

The Polytechnic of the University of Malawi has managed to have a steady increase of girls/women in Diploma/Degree and Technician courses as indicated in Annex II(b).

The Government's endeavour to promote and strengthen guidance and career counselling is an activity that should spread throughout the country including the rural areas, and at all levels of formal education. Gondwe (1989) noted that sometimes guidance and counselling comes too late when one has missed the prerequisites for the career he/she wants to pursue.

PRESENT MEASURES TO PROMOTE ACCESS TO SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

A lot of policy issues were handled through directives (Kaluwile 1989) from higher offices during the previous Government. The current Government has formulated written policies for various Government sectors. Therefore, most of the written policies, objectives and strategies are taken as present and future measure to promote access.

National Policies and Strategies

The Malawi Government National Training Policy (1996) states as one of the objectives for training, the promotion of the development of entrepreneurship and the easing of any structural changes. An example of the science and technology policy has been mentioned. The science and technology policy (1991) advocates equal and adequate opportunities for all to acquire basic science education to facilitate development.

The National Youth Policy (not dated but launched in 1996) in its objectives, mentions the creation of educational and training opportunities to enable the youth to use basic scientific and technological principles in the promotion of creativity and imagination. In its priority areas for action, the policy intends to encourage females to take up science and technical subjects. The policy also recognizes the importance of engaging the youth in environmental education.

The strategies of the policy on Women in Development endeavours to encourage the development of projects for women based on local skills, to increase the uptake of appropriate technologies to facilitate work done by women, and to support any moves that would widen career options for girls, specifically in the areas of technical and other non traditional areas. The policy also supports the expansion of vocational institutions that offer vocational skills to female dropouts.

Technical Colleges are aspiring for a 30 percent access of girls Government would like to increase the transition rate to secondary school from about 10% to 50% and girls' access to secondary education to 50%. The draft policy on education wishes to enforce readmission of girls and boys suspended on pregnancy grounds.

Strategies in the Poverty Alleviation Programme (1995) include the expansion of education facilities at all levels and the closing of the gap between males and females in access to education, and the revision of the curriculum to include among other things health, entrepreneurship, environment gender issues, and creative arts and crafts. The establishment and planned expansion of Domasi Teachers College for mass production of diploma bearing teachers in science and other subjects is to increase output from an average of 13 per annum between 1967 and 1979 and 21 per annum between 1980 and 1991 by enrolling 200 per year (Fabiano, 1992).

The policy objectives and strategies mentioned above, coupled with compulsory sciences for all in primary and secondary school, can enhance achievement of the promotion of access of girls to science, technical and vocational education and training.

Innovative Practices

The primary curriculum has been reviewed to reflect the needs of society, including for women. The secondary school curriculum review is long overdue for reasons not known, but attempts are being made to make the curriculum gender sensitive and to make it more relevant to the needs of society. Alide (1990,1996) advocates sciences and technology education using appropriate tools and materials for all males and females from nursery school to tertiary level, and the expansion of technical schools and colleges to absorb school drop-outs at all levels of the education system. A statement by the Minister of Education on his return from South Africa very recently supports these views. The German Government is keen to expand technical school and colleges and there are plans to establish a Technical and Vocational Education Council to oversee activities in this field.

Career guidance and counselling is being intensified in schools with the setting up of a department in the Ministry of Education, and the establishment of GAC at the Domasi Institute of Education. Teachers are being given orientation in gender sensitivity and there is an expansion of the social Mobilization Campaign.

Efforts to Provide Employment Opportunities

Some positive steps to assist women by giving them technical skills and granting them loans through well and newly established lending institutions which demand less collateral have been made. In villages, women's groups have been formed to facilitate the acquisition of loans. The World Bank (1991) has provided a list of 16 women in Development Projects in Malawi funded by the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Programme, the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), the International Development Association, the Overseas Development Association, and others. These projects range from education to income generating activities, and are carried out by or in conjunction with 19 other non-governmental and Governmental organisations in Malawi.

The establishment of a Youth Scheme that provides loans to youth to start business and the Government's intention to recruit women in the Army are attempts to provide employment opportunities.

Difficulties and Constraints Encountered in Implementation

Lack of mechanisation in agriculture and slow industrial expansion affecting economic growth do not create adequate job opportunities in science and technology related areas. The competition between males and females for the few such jobs favours males. Income generating activities cannot prosper in an economy that has stunted growth because buying power is inadequate to boost the activities.

Failure to articulate needs of women leaves out certain important aspects in the formulation of policies and strategies for women programmes. This, coupled with inadequate coordination of the various policies for a concentrated effort to effectively implement the various strategies, reduces the impact of the various projects. The Science and Technology Policy, which was produced in 1991, has not been implemented to date and many people do not know that it exists.

Shortage of science, technical and vocational teachers and the use of inadequately trained teachers affects the performance of students.

Large classes, resulting from increased enrolment versus slow expansion of facilities, and long syllabuses, against the need to finish them for examinations, are some of the problems that make the teaching and learning of science difficult. Girls find learning more difficult.

Inadequately trained in career guidance and counselling fail to spot talents and give proper advice for students to excel in their areas of strength.

SCIENCE INFORMATION

While at the primary level, there is some form of integrated subject, specialisation comes at secondary level, especially senior secondary. Science subjects at secondary level are: Agriculture, Biology, Physical Science (Physics and Chemistry), and General Science (Biology Physical Science). (See Annex I). One can choose to take Physical Science and Biology as separate subjects of General Science. Since Mathematics facilitate the scientific and technological activity they are in certain cases lamped together with sciences in this paper.

Health and environmental issues have not been articulated. The planned review of the curriculum is intended to, among other things, address these issues.

The teaching of skills are stressed in the syllabuses but examination-oriented and teacher-centered learning resulting from long syllabuses and inadequate equipment and materials, hamper the development of critical and logical thinking and problem solving skills. Values are taught across the curriculum.

Science teaching is done by those who were trained at Diploma and Degree levels to teach it. For those who have Bachelor of Social Science, Engineering and Technical Education degrees but were not trained as Science teachers a one-year University teaching certificate course has been offered, and some have benefited from the Malawi Mathematics and Sciences Teaching Improvement Project which started in 1990 (Fabiano, 1992). Some are still not trained as teachers but are teaching science, especially in private schools.

ABBREVIATIONS

ATTIGA

Appropriate Technology Training Unit for Income Generating Activities

CCAM

Chitukuko Cha Amayi M'Malawi

DEVPOL

Development Policy Statement (1987-1996)

GAC

Girls Appropriate Curriculum

GOM

Government of Malawi

GTZ

German Technical Cooperation

IDA

International Development Agency

MAMSTIP

Malawi Mathematics and Sciences Teaching Improvement Project

MANEB

Malawi National Examinations Board

MIE

Malawi Institute of Education

MSCE

Malawi School Certificate of Education

NCWID

National Commission for Women in Development

ODA

Oversease Development Administration

PSLC

Primary School Leaving Certificate

UNDP

United Nations Development Programme

UNESCO

United Nations for Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation

UNICEF

United Nations Children's Fund

USAID

United Nations Agency for International Development

Data on girls attainment Grades 1 and Distinction, Grades 3 to 6 Credit, Grades 7 and 8 pass, and 9 is a failing grade

TABLE 5 (a)
Comparative statistics of grades by subject, the average for examination years 1989 to 1996 -
Female internal


Average

Grades and average pass rates

Subject

Entry

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Agriculture

2153

14.01

20.5

25.0

17.8

12.3

6.5

2.5

0.98

0.11

Biology

3004

42.1

25.0

18.0

7.3

4.09

2.2

0.8

0.3

0.005

Physical science

2097

52.8

18.0

12.5

6.6

4.09

2.7

1.38

1.26

0.38

Mathematics

3003

62.9

12.6

8.9

6.2

3.8

2.5

1.46

1.06

0.27

Source: Malawi National Examinations Board (MANEB) (Raw Data)

TABLE 5 (b)
Comparative statistics of grades by subject for examination years 1993, 1995 and 1996 - Female Internal candidates (the only years females attempted technical subjects)


Candidates

Grades and pass dates

Subjects

Year

Entry

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Woodwork

1993

2

50.000

0.0

50.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Metal work

1993

1

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

100.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

Technical drawing

1995

3

33.3

33.3

33.3

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0


1996

3

33.3

33.3

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

33.3

0.0

Source: MANEB

ANNEXES

ANNEX I.
DIAGRAM REPRESENTING SCIENCE EDUCATION CURRICULUM

SECONDARY SCIENCE
MALAWI SCHOOL CERTIFICATE OF EDUCATION (MSCE)

TOPICS

TOPICS

TOPICS

Food & Energy, Soils, Nutrition in Plants &animals, Circulation &Transportin Mammals, Respiration and Excretion, Locomotion, Response Growth and Reproduction and Genetics and Genetic & Evolution, Living things& Environment, Populations Micro organisms Man & Diseases

Graphics, Scalar & Vector Quantities, Electricity, Vibrations & Waves, Optics, Coulour & spectra

Organic Chemistry, Electrolysis, Electrons Transfer Reactions, Mole and Malarity Solids, Liquids & Gases, Elements & Compounds Atomic structure & periodic Table


PHYSICS

CHEMISTRY

BIOLOGY

SCIENCES PHYSIQUES

GENERAL SCIENCE

PRIMARY SCIENCE AND HEALTH EDUCATION
PRIMARY SCHOOL LEAVING CERTIFICATE (PSLC)

Vertebrates, Invertebrates, Common Diseases, the Skeletal System, the muscular System, the Blood System, Bleeding, Animal bites, Dislocation, Fractures, Properties of Heat & Light, Poisoning, Blood Transfusion Machines, the Sense Organs, Substances, Body Wastes, Sources & Uses of Energy, Cuts Abrasions & bruises, Burns, foreign bodies, diseases of the eye, common accidents, scabies & Ring Worms, Food Beliefs and Taboos, Food and Nutrition, The Brain and Sense organs, Growth & Development in Animals and Plants, The Breathing System, Tooth Structure and decay, Choking, Typhoid, Suffocation, Drowning, expansion & Contraction of Solids, Change of Shape in Solids, Sexual transmitted Diseases, Immunization, Sprains & Strains, Properties of sounds, Interdependence of Living things, Human Population, Food Supply, Storages & Preservation, Health Services, Shock & Faint, Mixtures, Electricity, Protecting the Environment, Convulsions, Liquid and Air-pressure, Population and use of energy.

ANNEX II (a)
PERCENTAGE OF FEMALE STUDENTS IN ALL UNIVERSITY COURSES IN 1986/87

COURSES

%F

Diploma/Degree in agriculture

13,0

Bachelor of science (ARTS)

11,4

Bachelor of sciences

16,3

Bachelor of social sciences

14,5

Diploma/Degree in Education (Home economics)

91,6

Diploma/Degree in Education (Humanities)

25,0

Diploma/Degree in Education (Science)

23,0

Diploma in Education (Primary Teaching)

17,8

Master of Education

41,7

University Certificate of Education

36,4

Diploma in Public Administration

12,3

Bachelor of Laws

4,4

Diploma/Degree in Business Studies

18,7

Diploma/Degree Engineering

15,00

Diploma in management Studies

0

Bachelor of science (Technical Education)

0

Diploma in Public health

0

Diploma in nursing

87,0

Certificate in Midwifery

100,0

Average

27,8

ANNEX II (b).
PERCENTAGE OF FEMALE STUDENTS IN ALL POLYTECHNIC COURSES INCLUDING TECHNICIAN

Year

Diploma/Degree % F

Technician % F

1986/87

6,7

1,2

1990/91

8,6

11,14

1995/96

9,4

8,8

Average

8,4

7,0

Source: Chipfya, 1992 et Polytechnic List of Names, 1995/96 (Raw Data)

ANNEX II (c).
PERCENTAGE OF FEMALE STUDENTS IN BACHELOR OF EDUCATION (SCIENCE) AT CHANCELLOR COLLEGE FOR 1992 AND 1995

Year

1992

1995

1st

15,2

8,1

2nd

8,2

29,8

3rd

25,8

18,6

4th

20,0

22,0

Average

17,3

19,3

Source: Chancellor College Registry (Raw Data)

ANNEX II (d).
PERCENTAGE FEMALE ENROLMENT IN DIPLOMA/DEGREE AGRICULTURE AT BUNDA COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE

YEAR

1990/91

1992/93

1994/95

15,4

18,0

21,4

Source: Basic education statistics - GOM

ANNEX II (e).
PERCENTAGE OF FEMALES AWARDED DIPLOMAS AT DOMASI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION IN 1996 AND THOSE TO GRADUATE IN 1997

SUBJECTS

1996

1997

Physical Science

13,1

7,4

Biology

16,6

0,0

Mathematics

18,2

7,6

Source: Domasi College - Principal' office (Raw Data)

ANNEX II (f).
PERCENTAGE FEMALE ENROLMENT IN ALL TECHNICAL SCHOOL/COLLEGES UNDER MINISTRY OF LABOUR

YEAR

TOTAL

MALE

FEMALE

% FEMALE

1989

389

372

17

4,3

1990

446

418

28

6,3

1991

348

333

15

4,3

1992

436

419

17

3,9

1993

208

199

9

4,3

Average




4,6

Source: Ministry of Labour

ANNEX III.
PERCENTAGE OF SECONDARY SCHOOL FEMALE TEACHER

Year

%F

Number of schools

1990/91

40,7

71

1995/96

38,4

54

Source: Ministry of Education

ANNEX IV.
SPECIALISTS WORKING IN THE FIELD OF INTEGRATED PRIMARY SCIENCE AND HEALTH EDUCATION

NAME

POSITION

- M. Harold F Gonthi

Principal Curriculum Specialist (MIE)

- M. Alson S Mhlanga

Senior Curriculum Specialist (MIE)

- M. WK Makulumiza Nkhoma

Curriculum Specialist (MIEC)

Promotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Mali

CAMARA Mauna COULIBALY*

* Professor of Secondary, Technical and Vocational Education - Delegate on the Commissioner's Board for the Advancement of Women, under the Ministry of Secondary and Higher Education - Director of the Aoua KEITA Training Center.

The school attendance rate for girls in Mali, one of the lowest in the world (17 to 20% on the average) is characterized by their extremely limited access to scientific and technological streams. And yet, the mastery of development demands women's participation, which requires a solid foundation in every domain, in this case in science and technology.

Women represent about 51.20 % of Mali's population, 78% of whom live in rural areas1. In the family, in society, in school and at work, they play a key social and economic role acknowledged by all.

1 National Directorate of Statistics and Information (DSNI). Perspectives of the Total Urban and Rural Population of Mali, 1987 - 2022. Bamako. August 1992

However, women and girls are confronted with many problems. They are: a low school attendance rate, illiteracy, the multiplicity and harshness of domestic chores, a lack of training, under-information, poverty and a disadvantaged social status, despite the fact that all legislation in Mali recognizes the principle of equality between men and women.

These problems are the result of many factors, including:

- early marriages and pregnancies that are often multiple and very close together;
- harmful socio-cultural practices such as excision;
- the survival in legislation of discriminatory provisions contrary to the principles of equality;
- the lack of decision-making power in the family as well as in societal management.

PERSPECTIVES REGARDING THE ROLE OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The general objectives are as follows:

· promote education for girls and women;
· take concrete measures to protect the rights and interests of girls and women;
· ensure that women participate fully in economic development and environmental conservation.

The following activities will be implemented to realize those objectives:

· Sensitizing the population about the importance of getting girls into school;
· Teaching women to read and write in existing centres and in those that must still be constructed;
· Initiation and reinforcement of creative, income-generating activities for the benefit of girls and women.

In the past few years, there has been a reversal in educational trends, where parents are more open and increasingly understand the importance of sending their daughters to school.

Table 1: Trends of School Attendance Levels

YEAR

TOTAL

GIRLS

1990-1991

23.0%

16.9%

1993-1994

36.4%

24.9%

1995-1996

42.0%

33.0%

Sources: DNEF and PRODEC

Table 2: Trends of School Attendance Levels for Girls by Region

REGIONS

1995

1996

Kayes

21

24

Koulikoro

28

31

Sikasso

24

28

Su

24

28

Mopti

15

18

Tombouctou

18

19

Gao

20

22

Kidal

12

13

District of Bamako

117

127

TOTAL

32

33%

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY TRENDS FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN

There are few women employees in Mali's civil Service. Out of a total workforce of 36,716, only 9,203 (or 25.06 %) are women. Moreover, they are concentrated in the community-related services, social services and personnel services.

The majority of these women are found in the lower ranks of hierarchy.

CATEGORY A = 855 Women
CATEGORY B = 3 267 Women
CATEGORY C = 3 493 Women (Source: DSNI, 1993)

Moreover, women are rarely named to positions of high responsibility, not to mention those equal or superior to men's positions. This situation has an impact on the positive image of women and on their capacity to influence decision-making.

The poor representation of women and the problems they face, are chiefly related to the following factors:

· low school attendance rate of girls and the high attrition rate, since one's professional qualifications are still largely conditioned by one's academic education.

· difficulty in reconciling the multiple roles of producer, mother, wife and housekeeper;

· persistence of social prejudices preventing women from being designated for certain responsible positions;

· reticence of employers (especially in the private sector) to hire women, who cite absenteeism as their main reason (whether justified or not);

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE TRENDS FOR GIRLS IN GENERAL SECONDARY TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

In 1992-93, for general, technical and vocational secondary education, there was a total enrolment of 25,640 students, including 7,541 girls (29%, or about one-fourth of the total student population). Among these girls, 4,297 are in general secondary education (57%), and 3,214 in Technical and Vocational education, or 43%. For boys, this ratio is 60% for general secondary education and 40% for technical/vocational education. For both sexes, the majority of the students are oriented into general secondary education.

In the 10th grade, a balance is reached between the literary and scientific options - 51% (906) of girls are oriented towards science and 49% (866) towards the liberal arts. The following table reviews the situation in the 11th and 12th grades.

Table 3: Distribution of Girls in High School by Section

SERIES

ENROLMENT

PERCENTAGE

11th LL

297

18

11th HS

476

2

11th BS

729

44

11th ES

175

10

TOTAL

1677

100

13th LLT

125

16

12th SHT

156

20

12th SBT

403

51

12th SET

104

13

TOTAL

788

100

Source: E.S.G.T.P. Statistics Yearbook (GB)

This table indicates that approximately one-half of the girls take biology, one-fourth opt for the humanities, and one-sixth for languages, while only one-tenth go into the exact sciences2 These data show that at the general secondary education level, girls have a real inclination for the biological sciences and a strong distaste for the exact sciences.

2 This tendency to reject the sciences is less pronounced among boys, 1/6 of whom opted into this stream.

In technical high school, the enrolment by gender is as follows:

Table 4: Student Distribution by Gender and by Section/Branch

Options

Sex

Tertiary

Industry

Total

Boys

N

4530

7294


%

62

100

Girls

N

2955

3211


%

92

100

** In this table, the tertiary sector consists of the economic sections.
Source: The E.S.G.T.P, Statistics Yearbook

Table 4 reveals that an overwhelming majority of girls are found in the tertiary sections (less than 1/10 of girls are in industry). This ratio is more balanced among boys, where 2/5 of those enrolled are in the industrial branches.

These data for technical high schools are similar to those for technical and vocational education, as shown in the following table. Here too, less than one-tenth of the girls opt for the industrial streams leading to a C.A.P. (Certificate of Professional Skills) or a B.T. (Technician's Diploma).

Table 5: Student Distribution in Technical and Vocational Education by Gender and by Training Section



Nbr%

LEVEL

LEVEL

AVER.





CAP.

B.T.


TOTAL

BRANCHES

BOYS

N

1920

2171


4091



%

62

66

Av=

64

TERTIARY

GIRLS

N

1011

1857


2868



%

95

91

Av=

92



N

1176

1097


2273

INDUSTRY

BOYS

%

38

34

Av=

36



N

52

192


244


GIRLS

%

5

9


8

It is interesting to note that among the girls who opt for the tertiary sector, a very large proportion goes into the literary and sectorial streams, perceived as “purely feminine” professions. The situation at the Ecole Centrale pour l'Industrialisation, le Commerce et l'Administration (Central School for Industry, Trade and Administration) perfectly illustrates this: 47% of female students going into the tertiary stream take up secretarial courses in the first year, 27% in the second year, 44% in the third year, and 39% in the 4th year.

These statistics all reveal that in secondary education, girls are primarily interested in the biological sciences and economics. In contrast, they show a distinct lack of interest in the exact science and industrial streams. No scientific explanation can be given for girls' negative attitude towards these areas (See page 8 for IPN test results).

PERFORMANCE OF GIRLS IN TESTS AND EXAMINATIONS FOR THE C.E.E.P.C.E.E. AND THE D.E.F. (BASIC STUDIES DIPLOMA)

Studies conducted by the National Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the National Institute of Pedagogy (IPN) on school yields for 1992-93 and 1993-94 in the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th years of basic education, first cycle, show that there is no significant difference between boys' and girls' math test results. This study, which covered the regions of Koulikoro, Su, Mopti, Kayes, Sikasso and the District of Bamako, proves that girls have the same aptitudes as boys to understand math and to pursue scientific studies if the proper conditions are in place.

PERFORMANCES IN ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH EDUCATION

Statistics on the achievements of girls in health education revealed the following percentages at the Secondary School of Health and Environment and at the School of Training and Community Development:

For the 1992-1993 academic year, out of 278 students (both sexes), 57% of the girls were distributed among the following specialties: Midwifery - Registered Nurse - Laboratory - Pharmacy.

For 1993-1994, there were 224 students in all the specialties, of whom 48% were girls.

For 1995-1996, a total of 160 students were enrolled in all specialties, of whom 48% were girls.

For 1996-1997, 137 students were enrolled in the various specialties combined, of whom 50% were girls.

N.B.: 100% of the students enrolled in the midwifery section are girls and women. These figures corroborate girls' fascination for midwifery. They believe that this stream will earn them more money, and that by exercising this profession, they can render service to their sisters on the humanitarian plan.

For the Laboratory/Pharmacy section, 10% of girls discover that the highest coefficients are attributed to the main subjects, such as physics and chemistry, and that it is hard for them to advance in those subjects.

Out of 12 permanent professors, 7 are women.

At the School of Training and Community Development, which specifically handles Extension and Community Guidance in the rural communities, only 26 girls compared to 99 boys attend this establishment, or 12.5% of all girls. This is explained by the fact that the amount of time reserved for practical field work is greater than that spent on theoretical courses. Girls often drop out because working conditions are very hard in rural zones.

There are three women professors out of ten teaching in this area. They teach nutrition, social work and IEC (Information-Education-Communication).

NEGATIVE FACTORS DETERMINING GIRLS' ORIENTATION TOWARD SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

Trends related to national economic development

An analysis of women's status in the different socioeconomic sectors revealed that women who represent 51% of the population, and who are active at every level, are disadvantaged and benefit little from development actions. Women participate less than men in every area of development.

Greater recognition and higher value must be therefore given to women's participation as actors and beneficiaries in the scientific development process.

a) Socio-cultural reasons

Literary and tertiary education has been favored to the detriment of certain scientific streams, particularly science and technology.

Moreover, the industrial streams are perceived as unsuitable for girls. Since women are viewed as the “weaker sex” compared to men, any activity requiring physical strength is reserved for the latter. This engenders a lack of self-confidence in girls, who underestimate their capabilities in the scientific discipline.

The study load of scientific and vocational programmes is too heavy and not explicit enough; moreover, the teaching staff is inadequately trained to apply them properly.

Didactic material and scientific equipment are sorely lacking, and sometimes there is none at all. The abstract manner in which these subjects are taught, unrelated to female students' everyday realities, does little to encourage them to take up science subjects. A girl would therefore take greater interest in mathematics if this knowledge would help her to understand activities related to her life. Consequently, there is good reason to try to awaken girls' interests in the sciences by having them study how they are applied to their daily living.

The poor representation of women in science education is another block against girls gaining access to the sciences and technology. Their male science teachers tend to surround their subjects in mystery, and consider them to be very hard and not accessible to girls.

Moreover, certain attitudes which consist of discriminating against girls by ridiculing them when they make mistakes in class instead of coming to their aid, only discourage the girls from developing a positive attitude about the sciences.

b) Positive Factors Determining-Girls' Orientation Towards Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education

In light of the observations above, the following proposals can be made:

· Sensitize all classes of society (civilians, actors in training and education, female students, etc.) in order to eliminate all prejudices and stereotypes of which women are victims;

· Conduct a campaign showing that knowledge about science and technology is an indispensable condition for girls to guarantee their participation in the country's development;

· Get parents to understand that their contribution is a determining factor in boosting girls' self-confidence by making them realize they are just as capable as boys in learning the sciences;

· Revise programmes with a view to lightening the study load and adapting them to students' lifestyles and to teachers' training levels;

· Provide schools with basic scientific teaching material and equipment to enable them to make their courses more practical;

· Reorganize continuous training for teachers in order to improve their pedagogical level and their capacity to meet girl students' needs;

· Help all actors to think about the best means to incite more girls to take up a career teaching the sciences and technology in particular;

· Seek every possible way of encouraging girls by instituting incentives such as prizes, awards and study scholarships for the sciences.

c) Factors bearing on employment (employment eligibility, structure of labour market, salaries, etc.);

The role of wage-earning women in the economy must be strengthened to improve their working conditions.

It is also important:

· to intensify training and recycling of women workers in order to improve their performance;

· to take the informal sectors into account when determining technical and vocational education policy in general, and in the integration of girls in this area in particular.

According to the “State of Employment - Study of the Modem Sector, 1995” published by the Employment and Training Observatory of the National Manpower and Employment Office, the following information can be drawn:

1. Permanent Employment: A total of 32 219 workers, including 3 677 women (2 535 in Bamako), outside the civil service.

2. Employment Breakdown According to Type of Enterprise:

- · Public Sector:

1 374 women out of 9 659

- · Private Sector:

1 087 women out of 10 021

- Mixed Sector:

844 women out of 10 633

- NGO/Cooperation:

372 women out of 1 906

3. Branches Providing Employment

Transport - Warehouse - Communication:

18.7 %

Manufacturing Industry:

18.2 %

Trade - Restaurant - Hotel:

13.8 %

Banking - Insurance - Business Enterprise:

11.7%

4. Type of Training

Skilled Women Workers:

36.0 %

Foremen:

19.7%

Middle Management:

17.2%

Upper Management:

7.6%

Specialized Workers:

7.1 %

Skilled Female Laborers:

4.7%

Specialized Laborers:

3.2%

Directorate:

2.1

* Women make up 11% of the total work force, but they represent 13.6% of supervisory personnel.

5. Jobs and Educational Levels

- · Basic:

12.4 %

- · General Secondary + Teaching:

19.9 %

- · Secondary Technical and Vocational:

18.8 %

- · Advanced 1:

14.0 %

- · Advanced 2:

10.4 %

- · Advanced 3:

12.8 %

A differential analysis based on gender shows that men have attained the basic educational level (21.9%) and the secondary technical and vocational level (19.6%). Most women have attained the technical and vocational level (34.9%) and a basic education (23.9%).

Average Salaries

The average monthly salary is higher among women (105 864 CFA F) than among men (81 535 CFA F). This situation is explained by the fact that women are generally employed as skilled employees (See points 4 and 5).

CURRENT MEASURES TO PROMOTE EQUAL ACCESS OF GIRLS TO SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION AND TO TECHNICAL AND PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION:

Such measures will involve:

· Conducting research on the diversity of socio-cultural attitudes and behaviour in the different national communities;

· Creation of an environment favouring girls' access to school;

· Creation at the basic education and other educational levels of a technologically environment that can arouse girls' interests;

· Diversification of the various streams and creation of vocational training centers for girls;

· Mobilization and information of all target groups in order to wipe out socio-cultural prejudices about women's participation in scientific, technical and professional education;

· Implementation of a decentralization policy for training centers to ensure better geographic distribution and avoid penalizing girls in poor, isolated regions;

· Provision of didactic material for establishments and adaptation of training to specific regional needs in terms of social and economic development;

· Intervention of the different actors, educational deciders, financial partners and NGOS to coordinate their actions to improve girls' access to scientific and technical education;

· Training of orientation counselors who will be assigned to guide students and to offer advice about future career choices.

DIFFICULTIES AND CONSTRAINTS ENCOUNTERED IN IMPLEMENTING THE ABOVE-MENTIONED MEASURES

Any act limiting efforts to get girls into school can be considered as blocks against women's emancipation as producers of consumer goods and quality service. The attitudes found within the traditional community and on-the-site training are included among such obstacles.

The basic problem about school as we know it, and which still prevails today, is probably that it has failed to motivate most girls in the rural and urban zones, to learn things that are concrete, useful and directly consumable. This is seen when girls are taught the sciences and technology, in their lack of interest in how academic curricula are prepared (such curricula do not have enough interesting pedagogical objectives considering the girls' specific needs.) Social factors are thus compounded by academic factors to hinder school attendance for girls.

The lack of awareness-raising campaigns showing the advantages of scientific education is another concern that can be easily addressed with the contribution of partners in education.

ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS

DNSI:

Direction Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Information (National Directorate of Statistics and Information)

HS:

Humanities

BS:

Biological Sciences

ES:

Exact Sciences

BT:

Brevet de Technicien (Technician's Diploma)

CAP:

Certificat d'Aptitudes Professionnelles (Professional Skills Certificate)

DEF:

Dipld'Etudes Fondamentales (Basic Studies Diploma)

IPN:

Institut Pgogique National (National Institute of Pedagogy)

ESGTP:

Enseignement Secondaire, Gral, Technique et Professionnel (General, Technical and Vocational Secondary Education)

Promotion of the Equal Access to Girls in Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Republic of Namibia

Milka K. KALOMO*

* University of Namibia, Biology Department, Windhoek, NAMIBIA.

Due to the colonial system that existed before, girls and women were the most disadvantaged people in Namibia society. They didn't have opportunities to study. Not only the colonial system, but also the traditional beliefs system and African culture had a negative impact on girls' or women are not intelligent enough to attend school; that is why they must stay home an do the domestic work. During colonial time, there was, for example, non law enforcement requiring everybody to attend school that could encourage girls to attend school.

Namibia became independent seven years ago, the Namibian government has been preoccupied with addressing the gender issue in order to create an atmosphere of mutual acceptance and accommodation. The gender issue is well stipulated in the Namibian Constitution, Chapter 3, Article 10. The Parliament has also adapted the Marriage Equality Bill, which provides the most progressive and clear position on the status of women: Marriage Equality Act 19 of the Namibian Constitution. This Marriage Equality Bill, includes the reconciliation of the existing customary laws with the provisions of the Constitution regarding the equality of women and men, and the secure that the Constitution prevails where there is conflict with customary laws and practices.

Women have lagged behing in education and training and have consequently not been able to contribute to their utmost in the development process. Even at the technical and vocational training level where human resources are being prepared for future job markets, women have been encouraged to train in the secretarial field, and home rather than in trade crafts, technical and engineering fields (National Development Plan for Namibia, 1995).

Since women constitute the majority of the population in Namibia, one of the major objectives of the government, in both medium and long term, is to make optimal use of the country's human resources to achieve the goals of socio-economic development.

Perspective for the role of girls and women in socio-economic development

Namibia's population is currently estimate at 1.6 million with an annual growing rate of 3.1%. About 51% of Namibian, population are women. Still with this high rate of the women population in Namibia, more women are under-employed compared to men. Only 49.4% of Namibian population is economically active, 58% of whom are men and 42% women. From the 49.4% active population in Namibia, 57.8% are men and 41.6% women. Labour Statistics Bulletin 1995: (See Table 4).

Out of the 412% unemployed 20.6% are men and 19.5% are women. Looking at the statistics of the Namibian population within the urban and rural areas, one notices that there are more men than women in the urban. The statistics above clearly indicate that there is a higher rate of unemployement in the urban areas than the rural areas due to the movement of people from rural areas to the urban areas looking for work. The availability of jobs are concentrated in the central of Namibia, especially around Windhoek.

Current trends in the participation of girls in science subjects in school

Namibia provided education for all at the primary and secondary school level and the Constitution of the Republic of Namibia stipulates that children must attend school until the age of sixteen.

At the national level, female participation in education increases throughout the system, from 48.9% in lower primary to 55.1% in junior secondary, and then declines to 50% in senior secondary school. These national figures, however, show regional differences at primary school and even at junior secondary school. Failing rate only in Rundu with 43% during 1994. At the senior secondary school level, however only 30% and 40.6% of the learners are female in the Okavango and Kunene regions, respectively. In contrast the male participation declines in secondary school in Ondangwa East and West where males represent only 40% of the learners. (See Table 4). The table shows the enrolment of pupils from grade one to grade 12 in different regions in me country by sex. Promotion rates are calculated as a percentage by dividing the number of new entrants of Grade X in 1995 by the numbers of learners enrolled in the previous grade (Grade X-1) for 1994.

Current employment of women in the teaching profession (Science education)

Currently there are 17,645 teachers employed in the teaching profession in Namibia. According to the Eduction Management Information System (EMIS) report of 1995, 60.8% of the professional teachers are female, and 369.6% are male. At secondary school level there are 30.9% professional teachers. There are 12.9% professional teachers involved in the teaching of Science at Secondary school. That constitutes 41.9% of both female and male teachers at primary school.

Table 1: Female Teachers in Science Education

Teachers

Primary

Secondary

Science T.

Males

2139

3172

1250

Females

9528

2288

1040

Total

9895

5460

2290

Looking at the table above one can see that secondary school female teacher are most involved in the teaching of Biology, Physical Science and Mathematics. The majority of the teachers are involved in teaching science as a subject. (1995 Education statistics). Out of the eight educational regions in Namibia with the total of 17, 645 teachers as a whole, there are only 22.9% female teachers involved in the profession of science education. This 54.6% of female teachers of the 41.9% of both male and female teachers involve in science education.

Current trends in enrolment of girls and women in the technical and vocational system

Women's access to scientific and technological information and facilities is very limited. The rural women, for example, mostly depend on simple traditional technologies for both their work and domestic needs. This kind of working situation is very tiring for them and slow. In order to ease the burdens on women there is a need to move away from hoes and axes to oxen underdeveloped technology especially in areas where cattle are reared. There is also a need to move away from three mortar and the pestle, grinding stone and ordinary sun-drying to more efficient and simple technologies such as hammer-mills, oil pressers and solar-driers.

The table below shows the enrolment of boys and girls in Vocational and Technical Colleges within Namibia. This is a clear indication that girls are still not evolve in Technical and Vocational education. They represent about 11.8% of the overall population of the students enrolled in Technical and Vocational Training Colleges in Namibia.

This is due to the colonial system that existed and a strong belief in cultural traditions, that girls and women are not to be involved in this type of physical work.

The few girls involved in this technical and vocational training colleges are mostly studying needlework and typing. There is a lack of interest in girls for subjects such as Motor Mechanics, Electricity, Engineering, etc. Girls who are involved in this type of professions are laughed at.

One of the factors of poor enrolment in vocational and technical colleges is that the schools were not constructed to accommodate girls. There are six vocational training colleges in Namibia; however there are very few or no girls at some of these centres.

Table 2: Representation of Girls in six Vocational Colleges in Namibia

College

Boys

Girls

Total

Arandis STC

27 19%

310%

30

Okakarara VTC

80 100%

0

80

Rundu VTC

30 84.4%

7 15.5%

45

Valombola VTC

195 88.6%

23 11.4%

220

Windhoek VTC

243 90%

27 10%

270

Zambezi VTC

25 55.5%

20 44.5%

45

Total

608 88.1%

82 11.9%

690

FACTORS DETERMINING THE ORIENTATIONS OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL TRAINING

Economical factors (trends in national economic development)

The majority of the Namibia population is living under poverty and extreme poverty. Schools in Namibia are expensive and most families cannot afford to educate their children. This also leads to early pregnancy and early school drop outs especially among teenagers.

The Namibian economy is mostly dominated by male workers especially in the Mining and the Fishing sectors. This is due to the fact that manual work like mining is look at as heavy which cannot be done by women. The majority of workers in Namibia (47.4% are in the Agriculture sector with 52% female and 44% male. Male-dominated industries are construction, with 97%, electricity and water supply (95%), mining (94%), fishing (92%) and communication (85%). With the exception of three industries whereby the share of female is fairly sustantial: Domestic work, with 82%, health and social work (69%), and education (60%). Jobs like domestic work, health and the rest are seen as very easy and appropriate for women: that is why you find the majority of women in those professions.

Sociological factors (culture, traditional, religious, etc. including the social attitude towards science education and technical/vocational training)

Looking at girls in rural and urban areas, there is a big difference due to the fact that girls in urban area are exposed to better learning facilities, better schools and development facilities than girls in rural area. Girls from areas, since life are mostly from poor families that afford to the children to study in urban areas, since life is more expensive in big cities. Girls in rural areas are living under primitive conditions characterised by old traditions. There is still no electricity in some villages which makes study difficult for pupils in rural areas since they are using candles and kerosene lamps. There are very few schools in rural areas and in some cases the pupils have to walk long distances, or are obliged to stay at home and to take care of domestic issues instead of going to school.

In Namibia about 68% of the population still lives in the rural areas and is primarily engaged in traditional agriculture. Localized rapid population growth is leading to a shortage of available land for cultivation and this results in deforestation.

The absorption of rural communities into a market-oriented economic system has been damaging to resources because the traditional land ownership systems has a built-in check mechanism which contained the potentially destructive effects shifting cultivation and forest grazing of about 48.4% of the land in rural areas.

Various social units in the rural localities in Namibia are normally embedded in traditional patterns of beliefs, kingship, politics, economics and so on. These traditional patterns are interwoven into a tight and complicated fabric.

Gender stereotyping is evident in the statistics, in terms of which subjects are most popular with boys and girls, meaning the individual ability is not taken into consideration. Pupils choose subjects without the knowledge what they can do better. For example, 35% of the girls take Geography as compared to 64.5% of boys; 21.1% of girls take Kwangali (language spoken in the Rundu region) as compared to 78.9% of boys; 29.4% of girls take Computer Science as compared to 70.6% of boys; (Women in Development Country Profile) See the figure below:

Table 3: Secondary school Drop-out Rates per 100 School Population by Grade and Sex

Grade

Girls

Boys

8

10.7

9.6

9

10.2

6.8

10

22.3

20.4

11

8.6

5.8

CSO Women and Men in Namibia (Source MEC Annual Education Census for 1993).

Technological factors (related to the changes in the world of work)

Science and technology play a crucial role in the development process of any country. International experience shows that nations which are not equipped to create, adapt and use new technologies are left behind. Part of the development strategy therefore addresses the issue of how Namibia is to stimulate and use technological developments, especially in the fields where it has expertise such as agriculture, fishing, mining and certain manufacturing industries. A science and technology policy dealing with science education, vocational training as well as development will be drawn up to address the issue. This is to be drawn up by Ministry of Higher Education, Vocational Training, Science and Technology.

Employment related factors (employability, labour market structures, wages, etc.)

Women are engaged in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy. The available statistics show 44% of those employed formally are women, while men account for 56%. Women outnumber men in services due to their dominance employees in private households as domestics. The employment status is given Table 5.

However, in most other sectors, men outnumber women. Few reliable statistics are available for the informal sector, but the general picture seems clear with 40,450 more men engaged than women (59,154 men and 18,704 women).

In order to improve the employability and labour market structure, the First National Development Plan (NDP1) works on the following objectives:

- increase the number of women in the wage-employment
- increase the number of women in informal sector activities
- diversify the career opportunities open to women
- facilitate further progression, advancement and training of women
- promote the role of informal sector
- promote awareness of women's capacities in the work force
- improve women's administrative and managerial skills.

In the employment structure, out of 3467 establishments providing a response, slightly over one-third (37%) belong to agriculture, followed by trade/hotel accounting for 27% of the reported establishments. Community and social services is the third largest industry with 474 establishments, while manufacturing establishment are 121 in number-roughly 6% of the total. Companies pertaining to the remaining are less than 100 in each industrial category except Finance and Real Estate with 314 institutions.

Looking at male and female representation in various wage slabs, the female share is 16.7% of the lowest slab at less than 300N$ in comparison to 9.36% of the highest slab, earning more than 3000N$ is below average representation (30% in comparison to 35%) in the top wages group of N$ 2000 plus for men. (See Table 6).

Education (in general education, science and technical/vocational education)

At Independence, the education system was best characterized by five key features:

- fragmentation along racial ethnic lines

- unequal access to education and training at all levels of the system

- inefficiency in terms of progression and achievement rates and high wastage rates

- irrelevance of the curriculum and teacher education programmes to the needs and aspirations of individuals and the nation

- lack of democratic participation within the education and training system. Teachers, parents, administrators and workers were largely excluded from decision-making processes (See Table 7).

Behind these characteristics was an extremely unequal financial resource allocation. The inequities within and between the regions resulted from the presence of several ethnic authorities with extremely unequal resources sometimes operating in the same region. Learners in school around the country who were under the White Administration had almost ten times as much money to spend on their education, as for example, a learner attending a school under the Ovambo Administration or Black School.

The formal education system consists of seven years of primary education followed by three years of junior secondary and two of senior secondary. Only one school offers vocational education at the senior secondary school level, the Windhoek Technical High School. There are special educational institutions for learners with special needs at secondary school level; i.e., 'Seuns Pioneers Van Rhyn Ehafo, Eluwa and Morisson”. Adult and continuing education complements formal education and is the responsibility of the Ministry of Basic Education and Culture (MBEC) in co-operation with NGOs and other cooperating partners. Vocational colleges offer learners the opportunity to augment their academic training with job-related skills.

Post matric education in some programmes is provided by the University of Namibia, Teacher Education Colleges, the Polytechnic of Namibia and the College of Agriculture, which is now integrated into the University of Namibia as the Faculty of Agriculture.

In addition to that, some students are studying at universities outside the country Tertiary level training in the field of Fisheries and Marine Biology, Geology, Mining Engineering, Architecture, Town Planning and Agriculture, which cannot be offered in the Republic of Namibia, those students with a Bursary from the Government have the opportunity to go and study somewhere in South Africa or other countries.

The University of Namibia also houses several teaching facilities, bureaux and research centre (e.g. the Centre for Visual and Performing Arts, the Centre for External Studies and the Computer Centre) but few were geared towards the promotion of science and technology education which is what Namibia most needs.

To combat such problems in tertiary education and training, a new ministry responsible for Higher education, Vocational Training and Science and Technology was created.

Training facilities and opportunities at all level are inadequate. There is a lack of trained teachers, classes are not well organized and there are not good teaching facilities.

Those facilities that are available were not fully utilized. Efforts have been made in consultation with all stakeholders in vocational training to establish a National Vocational Policy. (NDP1, Vol I).

PRESENT MEASURES TO PROMOTE EQUAL ACCESS OF GIRLS TO SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

The Constitution of the Republic of Namibia for equal access to both boys and girls in science education and vocational/technical education.

The Basic Education Reform and Development Programme covers grade 1 to 10 (that is primary education and junior secondary school education) imbalances in education that existed prior to Independence are the reason for many of the problems in implementing the present targets of equitable access and quality education for all. Despite the obstacles it faces, the Government will endeavour to implement the new basic education reform during the planned period. Reform implementation started 1991 at junior secondary school level.

Higher education is intended to develop skilled human resources for the country. Competent administration and management, increased productivity and effective use of advanced technology, and innovation in all spheres of life, depend on the nature, scope and quality of tertiary education.

In addition to the University, an autonomous Polytechnic has been established to focus more closely on employment-related skills. Current plans for the Polytechnic entail divisions for technical services, accounting and information systems, technical art and design, library studies and information services, management and administration.

The objectives is to improve, develop and utilise national human resource through vocational training, by:

- restructuring and equipping vocational centres;

- creating an enabling environment for private sectors vocational training institutions;

- developing up-to-date vocational training curricula;

- matching vocational training outputs with job curricula;

- management and administration of vocational training policy, law and government vocational training Institutions.

National strategies, policies and legislation affecting the social attitudes of students parents and others towards science education and technical/vocational education

The Constitution of the Republic of Namibia forbids sex discrimination by both public and private bodies. Women and girls who experience such discrimination may seek help from court or from the Ombudsman. At a more structural level, the Department of Women Affairs is in the process of formulating a national gender policy and the Law Reform & Development Commission bears responsibility for supervising law reforms to remove all existing legal discrimination against law or customary law, action in both of these areas is underway (CEDAW, 1995).

Technologies which aim to assist women in the tasks of planting, weeding and harvesting are scarce. For example, women and girls spend about 50 hours per month processing millet in some regions.

Appropriate technology to reduce the time spent on agricultural processes such as millet processing could greatly reduce the workload of the rural women, especially if combined with input such as reasonably-priced seeds, implements and pesticides.

It has been suggested that women's productivity would be increased by greater access to animal ploughs, as opposed to the use of tractor services which are more expensive and more technologically complex.

Innovative practices and employment opportunities (including self-employment) in both the public and private sectors

Due to the shortage of formal employment opportunities in government and in private companies, a large proportion of the workforce, both male and female, will be compelled to seek a living in the informal sectors. Research findings report that 30-40% of peri-urban and urban households are engaging in petty trades and other informal sector activities. Unlike in many entrepreneurial activity. Only since independence has a lively informal sector with open markets and home enterprises begun to emerge.

The characteristics of the informal sector include very low educational levels, lack of capital, in absence of record-keeping. As with formal employment, the informal sector has quickly become stratified by gender. Men dominate activities with high profit margins, such as taxi-driving or middle-level trade. Women carry out activities such as selling food, brewed beer and making baskets or crafts with low profit margins and considerable time requirements. The income is low, averaging N$ 50-80 per month. For both men and women involve in this type of trading:

- The labour act which forbids discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, needs to be enforced more vigorously;

- All laws should be reviewed to provide equal opportunities for men and women in the labour market.

- The breadwinner concept should be done away with so that employees are considered equal with regard to employment conditions and benefits

- Women's productive work in agriculture and other 'informal' spheres should be recognised in national statistics and policies, these issues involve gender awareness, women in decision-making, institutions to advance and the understanding of poverty and the status of women.

To achieve these objectives, communication programmes and activities should be implemented in order to reach a variety of audiences. Theses are building capacity and strengthening collaboration among development agencies which have an interest to enable them to play their roles more effectively (See the Namibia National Report to the World Conference on Women, 1994).

Difficulties and constraints encountered in the implementation of above measures and policies strategies developed to overcome them

Vocational educational system is not yet in place and there are no trained instructors. There are only six vocational training colleges in Namibia. This is due to the fact that there are not enough instructors in fields needed to be studied in vocational training. Also the Vocational Training Colleges were constructed to accommodate very few student as you can see from Table 1.

While many factors contribute to disadvantaged status of girls and women, the most direct constraint to their entry to the labour market and to their influence in society remains their limited access to education. This state of affairs was aggravated by the general inadequacy of education in the country. The educational system resulting from ethnically oriented administrations was heavily skewed in terms of the quantity and quality of regional educational resources.

The recent review of gender curriculum (Ilukeni, 1991, NNRWCW, 1994) highlighted the extent to which differenciated learning pervaded the curriculum, and its built-in assumption that practical subjects for girls should relate to their future roles as mothers and home-makers, whilst boys would likely need preparation for entry into the world of formal employment. Linked to this is also the primary and secondary education, together with other factors, which serve to promote gender stereotyping with respect to future employment. For example, while less than 1% of the formal education students were receiving vocational or technical tuition in 1989 (1,297 out of 372,572 students) less than 20% of these were girls and more than half were students from “white” schools.

Limited access to vocational and technical training is the major constraint for women wishing to enter the labour market, especially for those who do not qualify for admission to formal post-secondary training. As it was mentioned at the gender workshop organised by the Department of Women Affairs (DWA) in February 1994, however efforts have been made by some private sector organisation such as Rissing Foundation and the Council of Churches in Namibia to provide informal (through certificate) vocational training to women and men. The post repatriation experience of women who received vocational training in exile does, however, show that even where training has been provided, employment may not be available due to prevailing attitudes.

As a legacy of socio-economic problems such as high rate of unemployment, rapid urbanisation, poverty and family disintegration, some women, girls and children in Namibia have neither exercised nor enjoyed their basic right, and have become victims of subtle as well as outright discrimination. Furthermore, for many years the country was torn apart by the war and the policy of apartheid, which affected women, girls and children the most, placing them in most difficult circumstances.

With the establishment of a Women and Child Abuse Centre in Windhoek in 199, a senior social worker was seconded to assist with the immediate counselling of traumatised women, girls and children on a 24 hours basis. Additional social workers were also identified and assigned to similar centres in Oshakati and Keetmashoop.

SPECIFIC INFORMATION REQUIRED CONCERNING SCIENCE EDUCATION

Information on science, technology and environmental education at primary and secondary levels, notably as concerns

Our education system has two sort of responsibilities in preparing Namibians for the world of work. First, our basic education programmes build a broad and solid foundation. Young and old people alike will be most successful in finding and creating jobs if they can read, write and handle numbers well. Their pre-vocational preparation will be even stronger if it enables learners to become skilled at identifying and solving problems, analysing situations and drawing on their knowledge to synthesise solutions and applying what they know to new settings.

Second, together with public and employers' and workers' organisations we must develop a coherent and effective vocational education and training. If we are successful in doing that, we shall have a system in which many responsibilities are shared and in which at the same time there is clarity of purpose and direction and fair manageable accreditation.

Compulsory or optional science education;
Integration science vs. Subject specialization;
Early or late subject specialization;
Inclusion of health and environmental issues;
Teaching skills and values, poor academic background of science teaching.

Data on girl's in science technology, environmental and health education

School mathematics and Science have been described as critical filters for entry into Science-based careers. Those students who do not study science and mathematics select themselves out of these careers. Several factors contribute to this selection out of science and mathematics for many females students in particular, some of which include under-achievement in science and mathematics, attitudes of both teachers towards girls and of girls towards the study of science and teaching materials to name just a few (Interim Report, 1994)

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGIES AND PLANS

Namibia faces the complex challenges and redressing social and economic imbalances and forging a climate of democracy in which all are willing and able to participate. In Namibia, many leaders have recognised the situation of struggle and inequality of women. Greater attention is being given to the role of women in development.

The country has demonstrated its commitment to providing better health and education services and improving conditions in the working places. The Constitution, together with ongoing legal reform and awareness, is helping to create an environment conducive to women's rights.

However, since discrimination against women in Namibia takes place in different forms, it is not a very simple task to identify and eliminate all forms of discrimination at once. A broadly representative inter-agency workshop has recognised a number of areas requiring priority action. It is envisaged that these issues can be addressed over a period of years; These include:

Law and property ownership

The country must urgently repeal or amend discriminatory laws. Women should be able to obtain credit and loans in their own right, marriage laws should be amended and there must be guarantees that women have equal access and secure right to land.

Laws should give women independent legal and economic status. This process should be expedited in the following manner:

A. Greater financial and technical support to the Women and Law Reform Committee could expedite the process of review and recommendations.

B. Women should be encouraged to challenge unconstitutional law in the courts in order to set precedents.

C. Namibia's capacity to facilitate legal reforms is stretched. A specially recruited legal drafter is needed to translate recommendations into legal bills.

D. The Department of Women Affairs (DWA) and other agencies should intensify education for women on their rights through the production and dissemination of material in simplified publication, translated into all major languages.

Education

The DWA should work with the Ministry of Education and Culture to ensure that young women have access to subject and career information.

The relevant bodies should be pressured to use gender sensitive selection criteria to redress the women's disadvantages help them again access scholarships and further education.

The literacy status of women, particularly rural women, should even be improved further.

Table 4: Participation Rate by Age Group and Sex

Labour Force

Participation Rate

Age group

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

10-14

3.5

2.7

3.1

11.4

6.6

9.0

15-19

21.7

23.7

27.4

19.4

23.4

23.4

20-24

74.6:

60.3

67.5

63,8

51.7

57.5

25-29

90.6

68.9

80.1

88.2

65.9

76.9

30-34

92.4

67.4

81.0

92.5

64.8

77.0

35-39

92.6

67.1

81.0

92.5

64.8

77.1

40-44

91.9

62.8

79.3

92.3

64.9

76.8.1

45-49

91.5

58.5

77.3

91.8

64.6

76.8

50-54

87.7

4.9.7

71.3

89.5

61.3

74.2

55-59

80.9

39.1

62.5

87.2

56.6

71.2

60-64

57.8

19.8

39.2

62.6

39.5

49.5

65 +

23.6

6.5

14.2

36.1

22.8

28.5

Total

67.5

46.3

57.2

53.4

39.7

46.4

This is calculated from the total numbers of people who are economical active from age 10 to 65 among both males and females which is 49.4% of the Namibian population. Promotion Rates (%) of male and female learners in Grade 1-11, end of 1995.

Table 5


All learners

Male

Female

Grade 1-2

68.6

67.3

70.0

Grade 2-3

76.7

77.5

82.0

Grade 3-4

83.8

81.5

86.1

Grade 4-5

72.5

70.1

74.8

Grade 5-6

74.6

72.9

76.2

Grade 6-7

78.1

77.7

78.4

Grade 7-8

72.6

73.3

72.0

Grade 8-9

73.2

74.6

72.1

Grade 9-10

78.0

80.7

75.9

Grade 10-11

49.0

56.8

43.4


93.9

95.7

92.0

The higher one goes in the class, the more expensive it becomes for parents to pay school fees, and there is a higher rate of teenage pregnancies in the higher grades.

Namibian unemployed Population, Aged 10 and over by sex and Education Attainment, 1991 (Labour Bulletin, 1995)

Table 6

Level of Education
Attained

Total

Male

Female


Number

%

Number

%

Number

%

No schooling

24.603

24.8

16.073

28.1

8.530

20.3

Primary

37.836

38.1

22.901

40.0

14.935

35.6

Junior Secondary

35.805

36.1

17.792

31.1

18.013

43.9

Senior Secondary

467

0.5

228

0.4

239

0.6

Technical/Vocational

185

0.2

76

0.1

109

0.3

Teacher Training

237

0.2

123

0.2

114

0.2

University

106

0.1

70

0.1

36

0.1

Total

99.236

100.0

57.263

100.0

41.976

100.0

Table 7: Monthly Wage by Employment

Monthly
Wage N$


Establishment

Employment

Ave.
Monthly
Wage N$



Male

Female

Total


<100

147

1023

865

1888

51

101-200

292

1755

1080

2855

154

201-300

478

2441

976

3417

251

301-400

364

2090

586

2676

353

401-500

2578

3350

1127

4477

471

501-750

358

3582

1334

4916

620

751-1000

230

4326

1765

6091

885

1000-1500

314

10917

3162

14079

1266

1501-2000

194

8357

2241

10598

1768

2001-3000

245

9769

2874

11643

2483

3001-5000

118

10519

2076

12595

3360

Above 5000

28

2025

618

2643

6223

Total

3026

59154

18704

77858

1761

Table 8: Resource Allocation to Second Tier Authorities, 198/90 (NDPI)

Administration

Learners
as % of
National
Total

% Financial
Resources of
Total

Average
Allocation
per
Learner's
N$

As % per
National
Total

Damara

2.8

3.6

1,6996

130

Kavango

9.3

6.5

902

69

Nama

3.2

3.7

1,496

115

Coloured

4.0

5.8

1,868

143

Caprivi

6.2

3.6

764

59

White

4.4

17.5

5,163

396

Twana

0.3

0.6

2,863

220

Herero

0.3

0.6

1,734

133

Ovambo

52.1

21.4

534

41

National Education

12.8

30.8

N/a

N/a

Total Education



1,303

100

Promotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Niger

Koukou ADAMOU*

* B.P. 849 Niamey, NIGER.

Niger, located in the Central Western Zone of the African Continent (between latitudes 2nd 23°33N and 0°06 and 16° latitude East) covers a surface area of 1,267.000 sq. kms. (489,189 sq. mi.), two-thirds of which is located in the Saharan and pre-Saharan arid zones. The country's population is estimated at 9 million inhabitants (1996), and it is mainly a young population. 45% of Nigeriens are less than 18 years old. Niger's population is growing rapidly at the rate of 3% annually.

The majority of the population is female, at nearly 51%. By the year 2000, it is expected that 20 to 25% of all Nigerien population will be living in urban areas.

The country's population is still essentially rural. The GDP per capita remains at around US$300/year. Over recent years, the country's economic services have been disappointing, despite the implementation of several structural adjustment and stabilization programmes.

Despite the heavy expenses incurred by Niger since independence (in 1960) in favour of education and training, one is obliged to admit that to date, there are still many challenges to overcome in order to attain the following objectives:

- Education for All (EFA), which our country ascribes to (Jomtien/1990);

- Sustainable, harmonious development as aspired to by the Nigerien people.

· Niger is one of the African countries where the school attendance rate (7.5 years) is still very low, at 29% (1996).

This low school attendance rate and poor training performance (primary, secondary and higher education, literacy and other functional, professional and technical training), is due to several handicaps:

· the absence of a “national policy” for education that is clearly defined, adapted and strictly executed, monitored and objectively assessed;

· inadequate adaptation of current education and training systems to the country's social, economic and cultural realities;

· present modes of financial support for education and training;

· inadequate contribution from the private sector and from bilateral and multilateral cooperation to back up public accomplishments in this sector.

School Attendance and Training of Girls and Women in Niger

The challenge of improving the school attendance rate of girls and of training for women is a preoccupation of most developing countries. The recognition of the “economic and social advantages” of education and the significant short- and long-term benefits of providing education of girls and women for the various countries' development are indeed obvious to all.

Isn't it said, after all, that when a girl is educated, the whole nation is educated?

Several studies have already focused on researching and pinpointing the many specific obstacles to education for girls and training for women, in Niger. The obstacles fall into the following categories:

- Institutional (related to the school system itself);
- Sociological and cultural;
- Political and economic.

Surveys conducted on parents, students, teachers, society and questioning the academic institution itself, have led to the following conclusions:

In addition to the general observations about the low rate of education and training for the entire country and the young people concerned, girls are particularly handicapped by the formal education system.

With reference to all the academic statistics combined, and considering all the obstacles, it was revealed that:

· Not enough girls are recruited at the first opportunity to attend school (at the “CI” or “Initiation Class” level);

· They are severely handicapped by the already excessively high attrition rates throughout the educational process, much more. than boys;

· They pass the end-of-year exams with much lower scores than boys.

Status of Girls (and Women) in Science, Technical and Vocational Education

Status of Girls and Women in Nigerien Society

According to several observations and studies conducted on the subject, the role of women and girls in our society is limited to preparing them to be wives, to handle household chores, to make babies and bring up their children.

Tradition, customs and religion have to date confined them to the passive acceptance of this status.

“Efforts to favour education for girls are still at the stuttering stage.”1

1 Mrs. Fodi Halima Boubacar. “Obstacles a scolarisation des filles...” (Obstacles to schooling for girls...), December 1994.

Generally speaking, the Ministry of Social Development, Population, Advancement of Women and Child Protection, is responsible for monitoring the improvement of women's condition. It engages in actions aimed to encourage its promotion in every sector of national life, and its integration in the development process. It was created only recently, in 1989.

Despite the many U.N. World Conferences on Women, held in Mexico (1975), in Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1985) and recently in Beijing (September 1995), the actual participation of the Nigerien woman in political and economic decision-making dates only back to 1990, with the advent of the multi-party democratic system.

The historical march by Nigerien women on that unforgettable day of 13 May, 1990, has since had a significant ripple effect in changing their condition.

The presence of women in Government, in the National Assembly and in every strategic decision-making body in the country's central and regional administration, is just one consequence of this impetus, although that presence does not yet reflect the representative force of women in the battles they must lead to establish this “New Nigerien Society.”

The field involving the “Advancement of Women” is so broad that it cannot be assigned only to the Ministry of Social Development, Population, Advancement of Women and Child Protection, and the government realm in general.

For a decade now, several grassroots women's organisations, cooperative associations and other non-governmental organizations, donors and bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies have been working intensively to fortify the irreplaceable contribution of women in the development of Niger.

Other Statistical Details:

a) The inequality of access to school between boys and girls - 31.2% for girls against 68.8% for boys in 1996.

b) Table 1: Trends of Primary School Attendance Rate (7-1/2 Years) and Percentage of Girls Attending School in Niger

School Year

1975

1980

1990

1994

1995

Total Student enrolment

120,984

209,865

344,848

410,920

424,861

% Girls Enrolled

35.56

33.53

37.20

36

36

c) Table 2: Number of Girls/Boys (2nd Degree) in Technical and Vocational Education (Public, 1994)


Boys

Girls

% Girls


688

100

788

%

87.19

12.69

100

d) Table 3: School Attendance Rates of Girls in the Private Sector: General Education, 1995


Boys

Girls

% Girls

First Cycle, 2nd Degree

5 003

4 370

46.62

2nd Cycle, 2nd Degree

1 262

847

40.16

Total

6 265

4 417

100.00

e) Table 4: School Attendance Rates of Girls in Private and Technical/Vocational Education, 1994


Including
Boys

% Girls

Total
Instructors

Auto/Mechanics & Construction/Metalwork

51

30


Secretarial/Accounting Administration,
Computer Science & Insurance

933

40


Total

984


158

N.B.:

1/- This total number of Instructors also includes substitute professors

2/ - The Ministry of Public Office, Labor and Employment, which manages private establishments offering this type of private, technical and vocational education, is working hard to increase the number of pedagogical visits and inspections in order to improve the quality of the education dispensed.

f) Table 5: Percentage Levels of Literate Women in 1990-1991 and 1995

Years

1990

1991

1995

% of Literate Women

8.53

9.49

17

g) Table 6 - Status of Science Professors in the 1st and 3rd Cycles, 2nd Degree Public and Franco-Arabic Schools, Technical High Schools and Private Schools

Subject Taught

Agate

Diffa

Dosso

Marad

Niamey

Tahoua

Tillabery

Zinder

Total

1st Cycle

Mah/Phys/Chem

7

3

19

27

5

25

33

34

207

Phys/Chem

2

0

2

1

3

4

1

2

15

Phys/Chem/Nat Sci

10

6

12

18

47

15

14

22

144

Nat. Sciences

1

1

5

3

15

1

2

4

32

Math/Nat Sci

6

5

18

25

33

18

23

28

156

1. SUBTOTAL

26

15

56

74

157

63

73

90

554

2ND CYCLE

Phys/Chem

3

2

0

9

39

6

7

12

87

Nat. Sci.

3

3

7

7

16

5

6

9

56

Related Subjects (LT)





35





2. SUBTOTAL

6

5

16

16

90

11

13

21

170

TOTAL 1+2

32

20

72

90

247

74

86

111

732

%

4%

3%

10%

12%

34%

10%

12%

15%

100%

Increase Coefficient

40%

40%

40%

40%

40%

40%

40%

40%


ESTIMATED TOTAL

45

28

101

126

346

104

120

155

1025

Source: PROJECT AESES/FAD (1995)

POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE FACTORS DETERMINING THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENTIFIC, TECHNIC AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.

One observes that the Nigerien girl or woman is not only poorly represented in academic and training structures, but unfortunately, she is also given little credit for all the tasks she assumes in the national economy and life style. And yet, her obvious contribution to familial, social and financial harmony and her place in the development strategies and programmes very often go unheralded.

The Nigerien woman is very poor (80% of the poor in rural zones).

According to various surveys and studies, the THREE major causes are quickly cited by girls and women themselves to explain their lack of success, their poor training and their low social status:

1) Early marriage of young girls, linked to a certain social or religious mentality (outmoded in today's world) advocated by their parents;

2) The material and financial support that a girl can bring to her family (namely, the preparation of her marriage dowry) when she drops out of school at the age of 12, 13 or earlier.

3) Repeated academic failure at every level: at the recruitment level, first of all; all throughout the school process (extremely high attrition rates for girls); at the various school exams and end-of-cycle exams.

Innovations and Reforms Anticipated for the Promotion of Girls and Women in the School System and in Training

Innovations are being implemented and pursued at every level in the various educational areas. The main objectives are:

1) General improvement in the primary school attendance rate;

2) Promotion of education for girls (improve rate from 36% in 1996 to 40% in 2000);

3) Improvement of the disparities within and between regions, between boys and girls;

4) Improvement of the teaching of science and technology in school.

Generally speaking, in Niger, more than the judicial or “legal” constraints, it is especially the social constraints (traditions, customs and religious beliefs) which impede application of egalitarian principles in every domain of national life, where a woman can still be victimized (in the job market, for example).

Table 7: (just an indicator)

Niger - The Woman's Place in Strategic and Decision-Making Bodies, 1995


Total

# of Women

%

Remarks

Ministries

18

3

16.66


Secretary-Generals of Ministries

18

2

11.11

2nd Highest Official at the Ministry

CEO

72

6

8.66

Chairs of Boards of Directors of Major State-owned Companies

Central Directorates of Services

84

13

15.47


Source: MDS/P/PF/PE: Letter N° 066/SG dated 29/01/1996
The Ministry's contribution to measures taken by Niger, in pursuance of Convention N° HI/BIT.

CURRENT MEASURES TO PROMOTE EQUAL ACCESS OF GIRLS TO SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION AND TO TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

The social changes taking place in the country call for readjustments and innovations with respect to girls (and women) and that the proper value be attributed to their place in society.

Major efforts must be endorsed in their interest to support and orient the promising initiatives expected of them in the fields of health, training and jobs in favour of the young. The current measures undertaken in Niger to promote girl's equal access to scientific, technical and vocational education, are combined with the general strategies for the promotion of this scientific, technical and vocational education in our (essentially) formal system of education.

Let us look at a few examples:

Practical and Productive Activities Brought Back to the School System

The reintroduction of Practical and Productive Activities (APP/PPA), by having them incorporated into our existing academic programmes at the first level, considering their objectives and supporting pedagogical methods, constitutes the first pillar of initiation to science, technology and vocational education for young Nigeriens in general, and of young Nigerien girls in particular.

Let us briefly review the objectives of this type of education:

- Link school to life through the integration education with productive work;
- Respond to the socio-economic and cultural developments of the environment;
- Open avenues of hope for the child about the realities of his surroundings;
- Etc.

The principal activities taught are:

- Crafts;
- Forestry, Pastoral and Fish-cultivating Activities;
- Socio-cultural and sports activities (theater, poetry, sports);
- Activities related to a decent family life;
- Introduction to scientific and technological method.

PFIE Education (Environmental Training and Information Programme Supported by the EEC)

Objective:

Information on the environment, in all the 1st and 2nd degree programmes of the formal school system. “With PFIE, the school instructor and local environmental agents will strive to show children in a very practical way, just what the protection of nature and ecological balance.” Three key stages will be distinguished in this approach:

1- Get children to love nature
2- Make nature understandable
3- Get pupils to respect nature

Special effort must be made to protect the Sahelian environment (as far as Niger is concerned), and to control desertification.

“Improvement of Science Education in the Secondary School Establishments in Niger” (AESES/FAD Project)

In the framework of its policy aimed towards improving of the Nigerien educational system, top priority is given to improving the teaching of sciences in the 1st and 2nd cycles of the 2nd degree. In fact, the traditional methods of teaching the sciences are not appreciated very much by girls. As it turns out, girl's weakness with regard to the science subjects is based on sociologically and pedagogical reasons.

“The AESES/FAD Project, is, therefore, the concrete act that goes along with this political will to improve this area of education, like that of the PPA (See para. 3.1. above), and also concerns the academic empowerment of girls in the areas of health and population policies.

The main orientations aimed to improve student's performance in learning the sciences and technology are the following:

- Adequate training of science professors;

- Construction of laboratories with properly working and performing equipment to conduct experiments.

PROSEF (Basic Education Project - World Bank)

The Sectorial Project for Basic Education (PROSEF), signed on 11 July, 1994 between Niger and the World Bank, deals with:

- the development of basic education;

- reducing disparities, especially between boys and girls, between urban zones and rural zones, and among the various regions of the country;

- promoting the teaching of science and technology.

Those are some of the country's major objectives and priorities for its educational system, as was reaffirmed by the President of the Republic himself, as well as the Minister of National Education, in their speeches and reports delivered during the ceremony launching the (International) Year of Education on 28 August, 1996.

EMP/EVE Population and Family Living Education in Schools

Actually, the objectives and activities of this project are very similar to the objectives (particularly point 1) and activities aimed at the reintroduction of PPA in school (Cf. para. 3.1, above).

The objectives of the EMP/EVF in Niger's school programmes also enhance students' learning about health education and “population matters,” namely by referring to reproductive health and family planning.

SPECIFIC INFORMATION CONCERNING SCIENCE EDUCATION

As already mentioned earlier, studies and research have shown in Niger (as in many other countries in the world) that “the methods of teaching the sciences are not well appreciated by girls.” Such classes, generally dispensed by “men” are apparently conducted based on a teaching method dominated by differential treatment from early age and “rarely focused on the child.”

For several years now, subsequent to several failings observed in the public education system (stagnation of science teachers in public education, repeated student strikes, one invalid year after another between 1990 and 1995) compounded by harsh economic, social and political environments, a PRIVATE scientific/and technical/vocational educational system has emerged that (fortunately) is very favourable to girls and women (See statistics and tables in appendix).

The National Policy for the Advancement of Women

More than the factors of favourable academic innovation and positive academic reforms, which determine how girls orient towards Technical and Vocational Education, better than all the current other training measures adopted to promote girl's equal access to scientific, technical and vocational education, it is the government's recent adoption (in January 1996), at the proposal of the MDS/P/PFE/PE2, of the National Policy for the Promotion of Women which constitutes the best landmark for demonstrating that efforts are being made for the promotion of girls and women in Niger.

2 MES/P/PF/PE: Ministry of Social Development, Population, the Advancement of Women and Child Protection.

The activities targeted by this policy have already been mentioned in Para. 3.8, above.

The Family Code and the Rural Code

These two fundamental texts now being prepared or finished are also seminal institutional texts favouring the promotion of girls and women in the country's social, cultural and economic life. It must be admitted that their promulgation or their “popularization” are encountering some opposition from those persons protective of our traditions, customs and religions.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FUTURE STRATEGIES AND PLANS

Objectives and States General of Education

The States General of Education (2-13 November, 1992) set the following objectives for school in Nigeria, among others:

a) To promote the social well-being of every citizen, particularly in providing him adequate training for employment;

b) To master the scientific and technical problems, by orientating the population more towards those sectors which respond to the true needs of the country, and by investing even more in research, etc...

NGOs, Donors and Other Private Women's Associations and Organizations

As indicated above, for nearly a decade now, several agencies in the private sector: NGOs, women's associations and organizations (about 30 in all in 1996), have backed the Ministry of Social Development, Population, Advancement of Women and Child Protection, to “ensure improvement in the living conditions of girls and women,” namely through school and training, and the elimination of every kind of discrimination against them, thereby favouring their full and equal contribution to the nation's development process.

- The following actions are being taken to attain those objectives:
- Conscious-raising, informing and training of girls and women;
- Granting of loans allowing girls and women to exercise income-generating activities;
- Financing of investments contributing to the alleviation of burdensome tasks, especially for the rural woman: drinking water points, primary mother and child health care, grain mills, etc...

In addition to the mission of the Ministry for the Advancement of Girls and Women, the contribution of the private sector and of NGOs (non governmental organizations) will hence be an important focal point of the future strategies and plans for the promotion of equal access of girls to scientific, technical and vocational education.

CONCLUSION

In order to promote equal access of girls to scientific, technical and vocational education, the first handicap to overcome remains psychological - Tradition, customs and religion which are all-pervasive and very oppressive in Nigerien family upbringing, dominated by a high illiteracy rate (90%) confines the girl and the woman to a “social conformism” highly detrimental to their proper development and status.

To remedy this situation, it is urgent to work on girls and women, on the deep-seated sociological causes which we evoked earlier, but also on the institutions which govern today's Nigerien society.

It is worth noting that the measures and projects described above that favour the schooling of girls and training for women, the National Programme for the Advancement of Women, the Family Code and the Rural Code, will undoubtedly help increase the chances for girls and women to do much better in a society which, on the contrary, treats them unequally.

APPENDIX I

Table 8 - SPONSORSHIP OF TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING ESTABLISHMENTS


SPONSOR MINISTRY

Directorates or Lead Agencies

Remarks

1

Civil Service and Labor

Directorate of Professional Training

Manages 3 secondary level establishments in mechanics, electricity, secretarial services, masonry, carpentry

2

Mines and Energy

General Secretariat of the Ministry of Mines

Manages a mining school forming masters-levels agents for mining companies (EMA



NIGELC, the Nigerien Electric Company

Manages a school training the electrical trades for NIGELEC

3

Equipment, Transport and Tourism

Directorate of Transport

Manages a school training the techniques of road transport (CFTTR)

4

Communication, Culture, Youth and Sports

- Post and Telecommunications Office (OPT) - the Office of Television and Broadcasting of Niger (ORTN)

Manages a post and telecommunications training school. Manages a center training information techniques (CFTI)

5

Agriculture and Livestock Raising

Directorate of Livestock Breeding

Manages several initiation centers in rural areas as projects

6

Public Health

Directorate of Vocational Training

Manages 2 training schools for nurses, lab technicians, midwives, social assistants

7

Prime Minister's Cabinet

ENA - National School of Administrators

Training of upper and middle management in the Administration

Source: National Report on the Development of Education, 1994 - 1996 (April 1996)

APPENDIX II

OTHER SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING STRUCTURES

I. PUBLIC - Table 9

Establishments

Specialization

Student
Enrolment
1995

% of Girls

National Institute of Youth
and Sports (INSS) (Niamey)

- Phys. & Sports Ed.
- Youth/Entertainment ANIMATION
- Cultural Action
- Home Economics

40

50 %

Practical Institute of Rural
Development (IPDR) (Kollo)

- Agriculture
- Forestry
- Livestock Raising
- Rural Engineering

170

40 %

II - PRIVATE (1994)

Table 10 - Enrolment Levels of Students, Specializations and Number of Instructors in Private Vocational Establishments, 1994

Establishment

Majors/Specialization

Student Enrolment

# of Professors

CFPG

Auto Mech., Building, Metalwork

51

9

CELECMI

Secty., Acct., Insur., Comput. Sci., Electronics

360

44

EPRODAC

Secty., Acct., Comput. Sci.

88

9

ENIDAC

Secty., Acct.,

72

7

Tech. Humanities

Secty., Acct.,

90

14

Mali B

Secty., Acct.,

46

7

ESAC

Secty., Acct., Insurance

82

10

ISAG

Comput. Sci., Acct., Admin., Insurance

52

30

IIE-ORDIELEC

Comput. Sci., Electron

86

18

IFIGS

Secty., Acct., Comput. Sci.

57

10

Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education of Girls in Nigeria

Eunice A.C. OKEKE*

*Institute of Education - University of Nigeria, NSUKKA.

This survey presents the social status of Nigerian girls and women, their access to general education and science, and vocational technical education. Using available statistics in general education, science and technical education as well as labour statistics, the paper presents the trend in female access to education and discusses several social, cultural, educational and other factors including governmental interventions that are determining the orientation of Nigerian girls towards science and technology. Brief comments on future strategies were also presented.

STATUS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SOCIAL LIFE

The National census of 1991 put Nigeria's population at 88.5 million with females making up 49.5% of that population. The females population therefore constitutes a strong force to reckon with in the social, economic and cultural development of the country. But because of their perceived roles in society, their contributions and potentials are scarcely acknowledged. Traditional Nigerian society is strongly patriarchical. Men are always heads of families and so take decisions on all social, economic and political activities of the family. The belief has been that women are intellectually, physically, and psychologically inferior to men and so have to occupy a subordinate position in the home and in the community. This subordinate position explains why their economic contributions and potentials especially in the area of agriculture and food production, child bearing and nurturance family health care delivery and even commercial ventures are not highly regarded while the socio-economic activities of men dominate.

The patrilineal system of inheritance which is practised in most parts of Nigeria lowers further the status of women in the society. In this system only the male children can inherit from the family properties, especially land. As a result male children are more highly prized and favoured in Nigeria than female children. This differential valuation is evident in the home. school and community. In a typical Nigerian family female children are made to work a lot more than their male counterparts especially in housechores. Daughters get wakened up earlier, go to bed later than sons, receive less quality and quantity food, receive less attention to health needs, have less hours for play and leisure and even get scolded more than sons when things go wrong in the home.

In Education and vocational training, male children are also given greater opportunity and encouragement to enrol in formal education and acquire skills in demand for remunerative economic activities. The rationale is that investing in daughters who will eventually marry into other families is uneconomical. Besides, she can bear and rear children without any formal education; Though the status of women in Nigeria is improving gradually in response to external influences, the perspectives for their roles as wives, mothers and home-care givers remain primary. Thus women's and girls's access to education in Nigeria, their employment opportunities especially in science, technical and vocational fields are tied up with the perceived roles of women in Nigerian society. Today, Nigerian girls and women are having improved opportunities for employment and education even in the sciences, technical and vocational training as available statistics indicate.

CURRENT TRENDS IN THE EDUCATION OF GIRLS IN SCIENCE

Enrolment figures at the primary school, secondary school, college and university levels presented in Table 1 serve as indicators of female access to education. At the primary level, female enrolment increased from 44.3% in 1984/85 to 45% in 1988/89 and dropped slightly to 44.1% in 1991/92 school year. At the post-primary level female enrolment increased from 41.2% in 1985/86 year to 45% in 1991/92 year. At the tertiary level there is consistent increase of female enrolment in the three types of institutions. In colleges of education female enrolment increased from 27.7% in 1984/85 to 44.8% in 1990/91. For Polytechnics the rise is from 13.3% in 1984/85 to 34.0% in 1990/91. In the Universities, female enrolment increased from 22.8% in the 1984/85 year to 27.0% in 1989/90. Thus the annual average percentage enrolment of females in the various tiers are calculated as 43.8, 42.3, 38.9, 26.2 and 25.2 for primary, post-primary, colleges of education, polytechnics and universities, respectively. Of note is that while each level recorded an increase in enrolment, the percentage rate decreased at each higher level of education. This is indicative of a high female drop out rate probably due to early marriage and other factors.

Table 1: Percentage Total of Female Students in Nigerian Schools Primary to Tertiary 1984/85 - 91/92


Primary %
Females

Post Primary
% e female

College of
Education
% Female

College of
Technology

University

1984/85

44.3

41.2

27.7

13.3

22.8

1985/86

44.4

43.1

29.7

13.5

24.0

1986/87

43.5

42.1

36.0

25.6

24.5

1987/88

42.4

41.2

46.0

30.0

25.8

1988/89

45.0

41,9

46.7

34.1

27.0

1989/90

43.2

42.3

41.9

33.1

27.7

1990/91

43.3

41.7

44.8

34.0

NC

1991/92

44.1

45.0

NC*

NC

NC

Annual

43.8

42.3

38.9

26.2

252

Average






· *NA = Not Available
· Source =Federal Ministry of Education

In the area of science, technical and vocational education, the enrolment of females is quite dismal. At the secondary school level, although current figures are not available, female enrolment in two “ compulsory “ science subjects for the school Certificate examinations in science-based subjects in 1984, are 42.0% in Biology and 38.8% in Maths. In the other subjects that are optional such as Physics and Chemistry or even the technical subjects such as Metalwork, girls are very few (Table 2).

Table 2: Percentage Enrolment of Nigerian Female Students in Science and Technology Subjects in West Africa Schools Certificate examination, 1983 - 1986


1983

1984

1985

1985

Maths 2A

37.8

38.8

NA*

42.1

Statistics

24.4

24.4

NA

32.4

Add maths

6.7

24.4

NA

16.4

Physics

13.3

18.6

NA

21.7

Chemistry

33.5

33.6

NA

35.1

Biology

40.3

42.0

NA

45.1

Technical Drawing

5.7

6.0

NA

NA

Woodwork

1.1

0.9

NA

NA

Applied Electronics

4.5

4.5

NA

NA

Basic Electronics

5.6

8.1

NA

NA

Metal work

0.4

0.7

NA

NA

Auto mechanics

1.3

1.6

NA

NA

*NA = Not available
Source: Adeyegba S. O. (1987) et Bajah - ST et Bogino (1989)

This pattern of enrolment of girls in science and related subjects continues into tertiary institutions because admission into tertiary institution is dependent on successful completion of required science subjects. Table 3 shows the percentage enrolment of students in science and technology courses in Nigerian Universities with females having the lower proportion in all the disciplines. In terms of trend, there is a definite but small increase in the number of girls enrolled in science based courses between 1985 and 1992. For instance, in Agriculture, the female share of total enrolment increased from 13.0% in 1985/86 to 23.0% in 1992 while in Engineering, it increased from 5.4% in 1985/86 to 10.9% in 1991. Even in the Basic Sciences the female proportion rose from 23.8% in 1985/86 to 27.8% in 1991/92. The annual average percentage enrolment of females in these disciplines during the period under review are: Agriculture,: 19.5; Engineering/Technology: 7.0; Environmental Designs: 13.0; Medicine: 22.9; Pharmacy: 26.3; and Vet/Medicine: 13.0.

Table 3: Percentage of Female Student Enrolment in Science and Technology Courses in Nigerian Universities 1985-86 - 1991/92


Agro. Science

Eng/Tech

Env. Design

Med.

Pharm

Sciences

Med. Vet


H+F

% F

H+F

% F

H+F

% F

H+F

% F

H+F

%F

H+F

% F

H+F

%F

1985/86

8002

13,0

11272

5,4

4717

13,5

9353

25,2

2043

30,6

19407

23,8

1121

10,6

1986/87

9087

17,8

12555

6,7

5371

12,6

9836

24,7

1995

29,9

21199

25,5

1291

11,5

1987/88

9582

18,3

13964

7,0

5186

13,0

10034

23,6

1994

29,6

25466

27,0

1364

13,5

1988/89

9265

21,4

14238

6,6

5477

13,9

10513

23,4

2109

27,1

27338

27,1

1306

14,2

1989/90

10919

22,7

15226

5,9

5655

14,0

11162

24,9

2290

25,0

30083

27,0

1403

13,9

1990/91

12002

20,5

17984

6,5

6394

11,8

12565

12,7

2661

21,2

34819

25,6

1528

13,0

1991/92

13803

23,0

22,27

10,9

7049

12,5

14466

25,8

2716

18,5

41414

27,8

1643

13,6



19,5


7,0


13,0


22,9


26,1


26,3


13,0

Source: National University Commission (NUC) Statistical Digest on Nigerian Universities 1988-1992.

Table 4: Percentage of Female Student Enrolment in Science and Technology in Nigerian Polytechnics 1987-1994.


1987/88

1988/89

1989/90

1990/91

1991/92

1992/93

1993/94

Irrigation

4,8

-

-

-

NA

NA

NA

Agric. Eng. Techn.

7,8

15,6

18,4

19,3

NA

NA

NA

Chemistry

13,7

-

16,8

19,2

NA

NA

NA

Metallurgy

-

4,1

5,9

3,6

NA

NA

NA

Nutrition Dietepics

77,4

-

76,4

83,0

NA

NA

NA

Post Harvest Tech.

12,9

13,0

-

-

NA

NA

NA

Cartography

-

-

-

22,0

NA

NA

NA

Mining

17,8

7,9

3,8

12,5

NA

NA

NA

Photogrametry

-

-

13,9

13,9

NA

NA

NA

Wood/Paper Techn.

46,3

36,1

-

36,4

NA

NA

NA

Rubber/Polymer Tech.

29,7

41,1

-

-

NA

NA

NA

Agric. Tech.

-

9,7

13,9

10,0

NA

NA

NA

Agric. Mechanization Techn.

-

3,3

-

2,8

NA

NA

NA

Animal Production Techn.

16,9

22,5

-

23,7

NA

NA

NA

Forestry

0,0

0,0

-

-

NA

NA

NA

Architecture

-

-

-

10,8

25,1

15,5

18,1

Building

-

-

-

6,4-

14,5

13,0

18,1

Ceramics

-

-

-


-

-

25,5

Civil Engineering Tech.

-

-

-

10,7

15,7

10,4

9,6

Computer Studies

-

-

-

-

28,7

32,0

32,6

Elec./Electro.Eng. Techn.

-

-

-

5,4

6,3

6,0

8,3

Estate Management

-

-

-

31,4

31,5

31,8

32,0

Fashion Design

-

-

-

71,2

74,6

86,4

86,4

Food Tech.

-

-

-

49,9

51,2

53,8

54,0

Graphics

-

-

·

-

12,0

13,5

8,6

Topographic Science

-

-

-

16,9

-

20,5

20,5

Land Surveying

-

-

-

12,7

-

10,3

9,9

Mecanic Eng. Tech.

-

-

-

2,0

4,5

4,8

5,4

Painting

-

-

-

6,0

3,0

20,0

7,1

Printing Tech.

-

-

-

-

9,2

20,6

20,6

Quantity Surveying

-

-

-

11,1

19,5

18,2

16,6

Science Lab. Tech.

-

-

-

33,1

32,9

40,4

39,9

Science Lab. Tech.(Chemistry)

-

-

-

27,8

39,1

-


Science Lab.Tech. (physics)

-

-

-

20,0

6,7

-

7,4

Science Lab. Tech. (Microbiology)

-

-

-

8,3

28,6

-

35,3

Sculpture

-

-

-

4,3

4,2

7,1

7,1

Statistics/Maths

-

-

-

20,7

23,3

27,2

27,2

Textile Tech.

-

-

-

29,5

25,3

24,4

24,4

Town and Regional Planning

-

-

-

20,2

21,7

20,3

22,5

Source: Minist fral de l'Education, Lagos,

The nature of the trends in female share of total enrolment in science and technology courses in Nigerian Universities replicates itself in vocational and technical courses at Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria as Tables 4 and 5 indicate. That is to say, there has been a noticeable increase in the access girls and women have in education in science, technical and related vocational courses.

Table 5: Percentage of Female Enrolment in the Schools of Sciences and Vocational & Technical Education of Nigerian Colleges of Education 1989-1990 - 1991/92


School of Sciences

School of Vocational & Technical Education


M + F

%F

M + F

%F

1989/90

6454

39.1

7553

37.1

1990/91

15537

37.9

15512

39.9

1991/92

13088

47.7

20146

43.1

Source: National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCE) 1992 Statistical Digest on Colleges of education in Nigeria - Juillet 1992 et 1994.
* 1989/90-figures are for only Federal colleges of Education)

TRENDS IN THE EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN

The type and level of education, as well as the type and nature of skills/possessed by an individual largely determines the type and level of employment one can engage in. The educational and vocational attainment of Nigerian women limit their level of participation in employment and policy formulation and implementation. However, current labour statistics indicate that Nigerian women are employed in various spheres of public and private sectors of the economy. In table 6 presenting the annual manpower statistics in Federal Civil Service, there is definite indication of an increasing proportion of females employed between 1986 and 1992. In 1986, for instance, the proportion of female federal workers was 12.75% which then increased to approximately 24.0% in 1992. Similarly, the proportion of females employed in Professional and Scientific and technical jobs rose form 20.9% in 1991 to 22.3% in 1992. Invariably, the majority of the women get employed in the low cadres since they lack requisite professional skills.

Table 6: Percentage of Female Staff in Federal Civil Service, 1986-92.

Year

M + F

% F

1986

254786

12.75

1987

254737

12.77

1988

311704

10.55

1989

267989

13.32

1990

273392

13.47

1991

181798

24.59

1992

191250

23.98

Source: Federal Civil Service Manpower Statistics September 1992.

Table 7: Percentage of Female Academic Staff in Science and Technology disciplines in Nigerian Universities 1988/89 - 1991/92


Agr. Sc.

Ing/Tech

Env.

Med.

Pharm

Sciences

Med.Vet


H+F

%F

H+F

% F

H+F

% F

H+F

% F

H+F

%F

H+F

% F

H+F

%F

1988/89

941

11.5

962

2.8

456

6.6

1304

14.3

203

20.7

2321

12.2

231

5.6

1989/90

937

11.3

989

2.8

448

7.1

1320

15.5

195

22.6

2382

13.6

245

8.6

1990/91

1049

9.9

1081

1.3

534

4.9

1422

12.7

222

10.4

2679

12.3

295

3.7

1991/92

1110

11.2

1102

2.9

549

5.6

1395

15.3

211

11.4

2790

12.0

279

2.2

Source: NUC Statistical Digest 1995.

It is in the education sector that a large proportion of women are employed as teachers at the primary, post-primary and tertiary educational institutions. But here again, only a small proportion are technicians or instructors. Table 7 and 8 tell the whole story. In the Colleges of Education, though more female staff were employed in Business Education, Building Education, and Computer Science between 1990-93, the number of female staff in areas such as Woodwork, Agricultural Science, Electrical/Electronics, Physics and Mathematics is still quite low. In the Universities the proportion of female lecturers in science-based disciplines is not only low but it either has remained static or dropped. In Engineering/Technology the percentage has stayed below 3.0, while in Vet. Medicine, it has dropped from 5.6 to 2.2 between 1988 and 1992.

Table 8: Percentage of Females Academic staff in science and vocational subjects of Education in Nigeria Colleges, 1990/91-92.

Discipline

1990

1991/92


M + F

F

%F

M + F

F

% F

Agricultural Science

241

17

7,1

239

19

7,8

Business

314

47

15,0

214

52

24,3

Home Economic

142

119

83,8

171

138

80,7

Accountancy

33

4

12,1

33

3

7,9

Automobile Education

22

0

0,0

27

1

3,7

Building

23

1

4,3

23

4

17,4

Education technology

20

3

15,0

15

1

6,7

Elec./Electronics.

45

3

6,7

57

8

14,0

Economy

38

4

10,5

24

10

29,4

Industrial Education

8

0

0,0

17

2

11,8

Library Science

12

4

33,3

12

0

0,0

Metal Work

15

0

0,0

229

11

4,8

Technical Education

154

13

8,4

24

8

33,3

Vocational Education

-

-

-

6

0

0,0

Woodwork

11

0

0,0

9

1

11,1

Instructional Media Service

-

-

-

10

3

30,0

Computer Science

2,0

0

0,0

207

36

17,4

Biology

197

39

19,

201

34

16,9

Chemistry

164

27

16,5

201

34

16,9

Maths

206

16

7,8

228

20

8,8

Physics

133

8

6,0

148

13

8,8

Integrated Sciences

153

25

16,3

52

8

15,3

Primary Science

-

-

-

2

0

0,0

Health & Physical Education

162

15

9,3

220

25

11,4

Source: NCCE, Digest of Statistic 1992 sand 1994

In 13 out of 24 Research Institutes in Nigeria surveyed in 1989 by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, it was noted that only a small proportion of the staff were females and that these females concentrated in Food/Fish Technology and Technomarketing while almost absent in Engineering, Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. The observable trend in the employment opportunities for women and girls in Nigeria is that there is no legal discrimination against them. Rather, they do not go for these jobs because of various factors that tend to determine their orientation and interest in science, technical and vocational education and employment.

FACTORS DETERMINING THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION

Many factors have worked and continue to work jointly and separately to determine the orientation of Nigerian girls and women toward science and technology education. Some of the factors identified produce either positive or negative effective. They fall under the following categories:

· Sociological factors,
· Educational and technological factors;
· Economic and Employment Factors.

A. Socio-Cultural Factors.

One of the major socio-cultural factors is gender specificity of roles leading to gender role expectations. Males have specific roles in the family and community, while females have theirs. Males are expected to provide for their families and so their priority is in generating income preferably away from home. Women are expected to stay home, seeing to the nutrition and health needs of the family. Any income she generates is not seriously reckoned with. In a way, the two roles are separated like parallel line that do not meet. Any innovation therefore in the formal or non-formal education which threatens to remove gender role specificity is viewed with suspicion and even resisted. Most societies regard science and technology education as masculine because they are said to demand higher intellect, more time, single-minded devotion, and are prestigious. In Nigeria, the prevalent belief is that between the male and female, it is the male not the female who possesses higher intellect, who has more time, who can afford and give the needed single devotion and who really deserves a prestigious profession to keep him above his wife. Boys and girls growing with such cultural values cannot but see Science as strictly suitable only for males.

Again the general picture of a technician held by most Nigerians is one who uses tools and equipment to perform work which are considered difficult and hard and often requiring extra strength and energy. Since the culture discourages females from lifting heavy loads or engaging in energy-demanding tasks, most Nigerian parents would not approve of their daughter using tools to plane wood or the furnace to smelt and shape iron or to go into a pit to examine and fix an automobile.

Furthermore, marriage and child bearing for women are so important in the Nigerian society that whatever else a woman achieves but remains unmarried and without offspring, she is not accorded much respect. Females receive this message in such overt and covert forms from birth that even talented girls shun the so-called masculine fields of science and pursue courses that have short duration and are devoid of any perceived obstacles to marriage and home keeping.

Childhood experiences of girls is another social factor. The initial experiences that mould an individual's values, aspirations, emotions, interests and attitudes are those that are provided by ones' parents and other close members of the family. These parents and adults, fully soaked in the beliefs and values of the gender-divided society, rear males and females differently. Girls are protected and sheltered, reared to be subdued, conforming, unassertive, dependent so that they will be subordinate to males who are reared to be tough, daring, assertive, independent, explorative and persevering. Parents achieve this through spoken words, through games and plays each sex is permitted to engage in, through the types of toys they provide each sex. The Commonest games that average Nigerian boys plays are rolling tyres or wheels, construction objects such as cars, torchlights or pushcarts with bits and pieces, playing ball, construction and flying kites, climbing trees, catching and rearing birds or insects, running around exploring their environment. These activities stretch their imaginations and challenge their intellect, setting them on the right path to science education. But by encouraging girls to stay home and care for younger siblings and do the mundane household chores, they are denied those challenging and varied learning experiences, especially in spatial relations which serve as building blocks for interest and successful pursuits in science, thereby starting them with a negative orientation towards science and technical education.

While some of the factors in the socio-cultural milieu have negatively influenced girl's access to science and technical education, some current social and cultural innovations touching on status of women are having positive influence. Non governmental organisations of women individually or under the umbrella of the National Council of Women's Societies are using public campaigns, seminars, workshops, government pronouncements and legal structures to modify or eliminate aspects of the culture that dehumanise women and disadvantage them. A typical example is the campaign by government and non-governmental agencies to increase female enrolment in primary schools as well as promulgation of laws to deter parents from withdrawing their daughters from schools, and from early marriage. Surely, access to primary education is the logical first step to girl's access to any form of science and technical education.

Educational and Technological Factors

Nigerian students and teachers come to school loaded with gender stereotyped beliefs and ideas about the aspirations, capabilities and societal expectations of the students. The general effect is that educational experiences offered by schools often serve to perpetuate gender stereotyping, especially in science. For instance, both teachers and students believe that science and technical matters are masculine ways and so boys should go for them while girls can comfortably do without them. On the part of teachers, such gender stereotyped beliefs set limits to their expectations of girls, condition teachers' behaviours, determine the degree and pattern of classroom interactions as well as career education. Though wide gender analysis of what happens in typical Nigerian science classrooms have not been undertaken, information from available literature reveal that most Nigerian science teachers:

1. expect boys to have higher grades than girls in science and technical subjects;

2. are more favourably disposed towards boys in science and technical subjects by working closely with them, encouraging them with positive feedback, tolerating “ silly “ questions from them, coaching them to succeed in examinations, etc.;

3. counsel boys to take up scientific and technical professions while discouraging girls.

Apart from the teacher' behaviours, the gender stereotyped beliefs and values the students come into school with also influence the attitude of girls too and their determination to achieve in science. For them, more boys than girls should enrol in science and technical subjects and boys are the ones to excel. It is noted that when a girl outperforms boys or excels in science, especially in maths and physics she is given nicknames which carry undertones of loss of feminity. Faced with the consequences of boys taunting her and her fellow girls shunning her company, with little or no support from her teacher, any talented adolescent girl without a strong resolve gives up on science and maths. What is being said is that the present classroom experiences orient girls away from science.

Another factor in the education process is the masculine image presented in the content of the prescribed science curriculum in the various science subjects (biology, Chemistry, Physics, Agriculture, Home Economics, Health Science) and various technical subjects. It has been noted that the curricula have much gender bias embedded in their content, recommended instructional process and materials in favour of males. For instances, many of the selected concepts as well as life examples used to illustrate science concepts are drawn predominantly from experiences males will easily find relevant. Despite periodic revisions of these curricula to make them socially relevant, no attempt has been made in the course of revisions to make the curriculum gender sensitive, that is to include girls and their ways of knowing. Similarly, an analysis of such instructional materials as Nigerian texts have revealed gender bias both in images and in language that discourage girls from pursuing science and technology. In sum, much of what goes on in the formal education process as “ hidden curriculum “ are detrimental to girl's access to science and technical education.

Positive influence of girls' access to science and technology are as a result of certain government policies or actions. One is the introduction of Introductory Technology into the junior secondary school curricula. The subject which is compulsory for both boys and girls is to expose students early in life to rudiments of technical skills and applications as well as inculcate a positive attitude to technology. This way, girls are encouraged to handle tools, construct and appreciate what technology is all about. Again, the Federal Government widened the opportunity for more girls to benefit from the fully equipped Federal Government Secondary School laboratories by making many of the schools coeducational while still running Federal Girls' Secondary Schools. At the State level, many States have established special science schools for girls and for boys to increase girl's access to science and technical education. These school admit and train young girls and boys who have successfully completed junior secondary school education and who have promise in science and technology. Sufficiently equipped with equipment and staff, these all female science schools have recorded higher achievement in science and their products are choosing science-based careers.

A number of non-governmental organisations are working to promote female access to science and technology education.

Such professional associations as Gender and Science and Technology (GASAT), The Nigerian Association of Women in Science, Technology and Mathematics (NAWSTEM) and the Association of Professional Women Engineers (APWEN) engage in activities such as public campaigns to create public awareness, organising seminars/conferences/training/workshops and providing career guidance. Currently non-government and Government agencies are collaborating through special programmes funded by some UN agencies to enhance primary school enrolment of girls, especially in States where the practice of the Islam religion is adversely affecting access to basic education. A revision of the primary school curricula to integrate Koranic education is being considered while conducive learning conditions such as security and privacy are to be provided as means of attracting more girls to formal education that can have access to formal education in science and technology.

Economy-based Factors

Certain factors associated with the national economic development plans being pursued and the current state of Nigeria's economy are known to act as influences in the orientation of girls toward science and technical education.

Development plans have always contained various ways and means for achieving socio-economic development of which education is a vital sector. Education sees to the development of human resources needed for meaningful and sustainable economic growth. When in the 1970's, therefore, Nigerian economy witnessed a great boost due to oil exportation. Nigeria took a bold step in the right direction by declaring free primary education and tuition-free education at other levels of education in 1975. Many new schools were established to accommodate the rapid increase in school enrolment. With the elimination of fees, a large proportion of females could enrol into formal education. The opportunity for girls to enrol in formal education opened the gate for their education in science and technology. The economic plans emphasised the production of sufficient top and middle level manpower to man the economy. Again, government established several more universities and colleges of technology and of education. With many tertiary educational institutions, the stiff competition for admission eased, out thereby increasing girls' opportunities to enrol in these institutions (see statistics on enrolment). In other words, the pursuit of policies for economic growth indirectly influenced girls' access to education including education in science and technology.

Many girls and women who operate in the informal sector of the economy such as beauticians contribute below their potential due to lack of proper and well structured education programme in the skill development sector. In recognition of this deficiency in tapping the potentials of women in informal economic sector, Nigerian Government instituted and encouraged the institution and expansion of vocational education programmes. Polytechnics and technical colleges in the country are being encouraged to develop and introduce programmes in such courses as fashion design and textile, interior decoration, beautification, and similar areas of skill development which serve to give girls opportunity to receive formal education in their areas of interest. Vocational Teacher Education courses are being boosted by the government through the newly introduced Technical Teacher Training Programmes (TTTP) financed by government to ensure adequate supply of vocational education teachers. The result of these efforts is the relative increase in the number of females who have acquired skills through formal education and become equipped to enter the world of work. Though the majority of them are in the feminine fields, a few are venturing into plumbing and electrical installations, computer programming and word processing.

With the setting up of Women Education Units in the Federal and State Ministries of Education in the country efforts to provide women with economic skills were introduced at the grass roots. This was done through the establishment of Women Education Centres well equipped with necessary facilities (cookers, sewing machines, typewriters and trained staff) for practical learning experiences. The Better Life for Rural Women Programme gave boost to the efforts and encouraged women to involve themselves in income generating ventures. Though the down turn in the economic fortune of Nigeria did not permit some of these programmes to grow, the potential productivity of Nigerian women has come to be appreciated by the public. The poor economic situation in Nigeria led to her adoption in 1983 of the structural Adjustment Programme aimed at revamping the economy. Reactions to the introduction and operations of SAP produced both negative and positive influences on women's access to basic education and education in science and technology.

The drastic cut in government investment in education following SAP led to the re-introduction of school fees under different guises. School facilities deteriorated, science laboratories began to lack necessary equipment. Parents unable to pay recommended fees withdrew their wards or encouraged them to opt for less expensive courses or go into simple apprenticeship (non-formal education). A drop in school enrolment as well as poorer performance especially in science and technical subject were recorded. In this way the economic policies of the nation influenced both girl's and boy's access to science and technology.

While this was the case, the economic squeeze occasioned by SAP worked in the opposite direction by pushing women with full consent of their husbands to seek for work outside the home in order to increase family income. This explains the increase in the number of women employed in the public sector or self-employed in the Nigerian labour market. Many women are now seeking employment and seriously seeking opportunities to upgrade their knowledge and skills to be employable or to earn higher incomes. Today there are more women participating in formally organised education programmes such as Sandwich or Evening courses. Some of these women enrol in specialised science and technology education and training programmes which wider their changes of employment. Many others participate in short training workshops organised by educational institutions for the purpose of acquiring income generating skills. In this way, the SAP economic policy is indirectly and positively influencing girls and women's orientation towards science and vocational technical education.

With the anticipated improvement in the economic state of Nigerian which will bring about increased funding for education especially in science and technology, the gains made so far will be sustained while more targeted efforts will be initiated to promote women's and girls access to science and technical education.

EMPLOYMENT AND CHANGES IN THE WORLD OF WORK

To gain employment, the individual has first and foremost to be employable, that is to say, she possesses the knowledge, skills and attitude required for a specific job. Employment is closely tied to the state of economy. With the oil revenue in the 1970's, Nigeria embarked on industrial and technological development necessitating the development of human resources, particularly in science and technological fields. This created lots of employments opportunities more for those in scientific, engineering and technical professions. Women engineers, scientists, and technicians had no difficulty securing jobs for which they were qualified. With no sex discrimination in wages, these professional women earned as much as their male counterparts with similar qualification and experience. At that time only few women had education and training in science. Many others who lacked scientific and technical skills remained unemployable. This trend in employment opportunities for girls who studied science or technical courses during this period had a positive influence on the orientation of girls towards education and training in the sciences.

In the 1980's, however, when Nigerian economy started to dwindle, the resultant changes in the labour market structures, titled the fortune for scientists and technologists in Nigeria. Job opportunities for them diminished, and one can now find good science professionals who have remained unemployed for several years. For women scientists and technicians, theirs is a double bind. Their additional responsibilities as mothers and wives reduce their chances of employment when competing with their male colleagues. The apparent limited chances of employment for female science graduates in the present deteriorating economy, is a negative influence on the orientation of girls and women towards science and technical vocation courses.

The stress in the economy led to the government cutting down her budget for education, leading to inadequate funding of science and technology education. With continued government neglect of education sector and the rise in number of unemployed science graduates, the public wonders why anyone should spend precious long years training to become an engineer when he can get rich easily engaging in distributive trade. In sum, several factors operating either in the socio-cultural system in the educational system and practices in the economic system or in the employment sector, especially in the technological world of work, all impact towards science and technical vocations.

FUTURE STRATEGIES AND PLANS

There is every evidence to. believe that both the government and the public are beginning to appreciate the need to proved girls access to science and vocational technical education as well as widen the scope of the science and technical education curriculum.

Environmental education is at the verge of being introduced in Nigerian schools to meet the urgent problems of pollution and environmental degradation. Similarly, the Health Education Programme is being reviewed to seriously include recent developments in the maintenance of human health, especially as it concern prevention and management of fast spreading deadly diseases such as AIDS. The Nigerian Education, Research and Development Council (NERDC) has recently designed new curricula on appropriate education agencies. The proposal is to infuse the environmental issues including population control into already existing science subjects, especially Integrated Science which is compulsory. This is to avoid a multiplicity of subjects to be studied.

The problem of primary school teachers having to teach all the subjects, even when those they lack knowledge of or dislike them such as maths, science and crafts, is being addressed. To lay a good foundation in science and technology, workshops are organised occasionally for primary school teachers to improve their knowledge and skills. A proposal has also been approved to post specialists in primary science, mathematics and crafts to primary schools.

Effort is also being made to ensure that all primary school teachers are well prepared to teach those subjects. The plan is to have specialist teachers in primary schools to teach these subjects to ensure that the right foundation is laid in the children.

The need to address the issue of gender stereotyping in Nigerian schools has been understood by many but specific and coordinated programmes or projects are yet to be instituted as is being done in Ghana and Botswana, (Ghana Science Clinic for Girls and Botswana Road Shows). A major future plan towards promoting Nigerian girls'access to science is to develop a well articulated sustainable and comprehensive programme of sensitisation and training for science and technology educators, including review of relevant curricula and texts. This can be achieved through the collaborative effort of government, non-governments and some UN agencies.

In conclusion, any investment in time and resources to promote Nigerian girls' access to science and technology is extremely beneficial not only to the girls and their families but also for socio-economic development of the nation and a safe world for all


FLOW CHART OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION CURRICULUM IN NIGERIA

Promotion of Equal Access of Girls to Science Education and Technical Education in Africa. Case for Uganda

E. LUGUJJO*

* Professeur, Faculty of Technology, Makerere University.

According to the 1991 Census, the population of Uganda was 16.9 million with an average annual growth of 2.5 percent. It is now estimated that the current population is about 20 million. The females constituted 51.0 percent of the population. Uganda's population is largely rural with about 90 percent of the people residing in the countryside. The country has a dominant informal economy and the population is mainly sustained by the largely subsistence agriculture with inherent low productivity and limited marketable surpluses.

STATUS OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SOCIAL LIFE

Girls and women in the rural area until the land for food, fetch water, collect firewood, look after children, and in some ethnic, tribes, they built houses. The men tend to concentrate more of their efforts in only cash crops cultivation and trades.

Uganda is a patrilineal society where, until recently women have been treated as inferior to men. However, because of recent positive government gender policies, the status of women is progressively being elevated, especially in the urban areas.

In the rural areas, girls and women are still subjected to inhuman treatment, cruelty and abuse. There is still an intrinsic perpetual concept that women keep house and raise children, men go out to work and have a position in society. This on the women side, degenerates into passive behaviour that translate into fear. Girls and women especially in the rural areas, tend to underestimate their own ability, especially in domains which are regarded as typically male preserves, a pattern which is again being perpetuated by lack of role models. Their counterparts in urban areas are engaged either in professional tasks or in some form of informal sector activities. Most girls go to schools and those who drop out of school find petty jobs. What are regarded as homes in urban areas tend to be centres of vibrant activities.

School

Before the introduction of formal schooling, every ethnic tribe had its own system of indigenous education which prepared everyone, without discrimination of sex to acquire the basic knowledge, skills and values needed for earning a living and living a life as sanctioned by society.

But with the introduction of formal school system, negligence of girls education became quite evident when most parents enrolled mainly boys in the newly introduced western-type of education. Even with the opening of some schools exclusively for girls, especially at the secondary and tertiary levels, enrolment of girls has remained low compared to that of boys. In urban centres however, enrolment of girls has picked up as the table below shows.

Table 1: Illiterate (%) of Population 10 Years and Above


Female

Male

Both

Rural

59.3

39.5

49.6

Urban

23.7

14.3

19.2

National

51.1

39.5

46.0

Source: 1991, Population and Housing Census

The Community

Women at community level have been integrated into national development machinery through deliberate positive policies. By 1985, the Government's overall policy emphasized the removal of the impediments to women's effective participation in National Development. Currently, Government policy is directed at strengthening the position of women if the economy by raising the value and productivity of their labour and giving them access to and control over productive resources which include land, capital, credit, education and information.

Employment

Women and girls are mainly agricultural workers and this is the only occupational category in which female (51%) are more than the male (49%). Male dominance in the occupational categories of managers, professionals, technicians and machine operators is substantially higher in the urban areas. Females, however, dominate in clerical category.

A Survey conducted in 1994 revealed that while males and females are almost equally divided in population, the number of females in the formal sector employment was only 20 percent of the total. In categories of skilled workers, women share was 26 percent.

Gender - Related Policies

· There is a fully-fledged operational Ministry of Gender and Community Development.

· In 1994, Uganda became the first country in Africa to appoint a woman Vice-President.

· Out of 50 Government Ministers, 6 are women.

· Equality of status is included in the Constitution as one of the fundamental rights enjoyed by women.

· Out of 279 Parliamentarian, 53 are women.

· Under the 1995 Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, Article 180, dealing with Local Government Councils reserves one third (33%) of the membership of each local government to women.

· Women entering University are given additional 1.5 bonus weight to boost up their aggregate total.

· Introduction of UPE for four children per family in Jan. 1997.

These deliberate actions taken by Government have gone a long way in countering the factors that militate for women's absence in participation in National Development.

PERSPECTIVES FOR THE ROLE OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Girls and women constitute a large reservoir of potential for national development. What are required are clear deliberate policies and actions to organise, educate, promote, motivate and empower them to forge partnerships with men in the struggle to solve national problems. There is abundant evidence to the effect that what man can do, women can do also and sometimes even better! Women have so far excelled in politics, education, health, legal profession, and agriculture.

Women are now emerging as self-reliant individuals with equality of status in all spheres of activities. As pointed out, laws have been enacted to prevent them from exploitation. As their educational opportunities become enlarged, they will become more enlightened and their contribution to socio-economic development is assured. Society, too, is becoming greatly aware of the imperative need to bring them into the mainstream of socio-economic activity.

Having said that however, a recent study carried out in Kampala revealed that insubordination towards women managers in work places was a frequent occurrence. This was attributed to in-built traditional gender biases whereby boys are socialised to regard girls as less equals. It was also observed that the heavy workload of women hampered their growth and retarded their vertical mobility in the ranks. Because of this, women have limited access to information channels necessary for them to achieve steady progress in their careers.

CURRENT TRENDS IN EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GIRLS AND WOMEN

Uganda's employment and poverty situation has not improved significantly despite a rapid growth of the economy in the last decade. Unemployment and under-employment prevail to a high extent in urban areas while high levels of under-employment prevails in rural areas.

According to the Uganda National Integrated Household Survey, 26 percent of women population is outside the labour force due to either being too young, old or disabled, while 21 percent are students and 29 percent are involved in household enterprises or duties. Only 23 percent of total women are either self employed, employers or employees, while less than 1 percent of the women are completely unemployed. The number of women in the managerial and professional occupation is low as shown in Annex 1.

Unemployment is more rampant among women and youth who are dropping out of schools or graduating from intermediate, secondary and tertiary education institutions. As I write now, Uganda has started to have unemployed graduates mainly in Humanities! The table below shows the Percentage Distribution of Employment by Sex and Occupation.

Table 2: Percentage Distribution of Employment by Sex and Occupation - 1988

Occupation

Government

Non-Government


Male

Female

Male

Female

1. Administrator and Managers

94.2

5.8

90.6

9.4

2. Professionals

82.6

14.4

82.5

17.5

3. Technicians and associate Professionals

65.6

34.4

74.5

25.5

4. Clerks

78.0

22.0

52.1

47.9

5. Service and Sales Workers

79.0

21.0

63.8

36.2

6. Skilled Agriculture & Fisheries Workers

87.8

12.2

91.7

8.5

7. Crafts and related Occupations

93.8

6.2

96.9

3.1

8. Plant and Machine

93.2

6.8

94.6

5.4

9. Not Stated Operators

70.5

29.5

83.8

16.2

Total

73.4

26.6

74.7

25.3

Source: National Manpower Survey 1988

As per the 1987 Census of Civil Servants, the Ministry of Education was the biggest employer of women. The Ministry of Health came second as the employer of women civil servants. The Majority of the women were found in the technical and semi-professional occupations. The second area of female concentration was in the elementary occupation category. The professional occupational category recorded only 16.2 percent women as compared to 79.9 percent men. Ministries with the lowest concentration of female professionals were Ministry of Energy (none), Ministry of Works (5 women compared to 113 men), Ministry of finance (Audit) (none), and Ministry of Water and Mineral Development (2 women compared with 104 men).

It is generally believed that the position of female labour in the public sector employment has worsened as a result of Structural Adjustment measures, particularly retrenchment. The public sector retrenchment has affected the lower ranks of the occupational hierarchy, where most women are.

On the extreme end, a recent study carried out on the civil service found that the number of women in the top management positions is increasing, although women managers still suffer from discouraging and negative attitudes of their male colleagues and continue to juggle with their multiple roles! The causes have been discussed in section 1.2.

CURRENT TRENDS IN PARTICIPATION OF GIRLS IN SCIENCE SUBJECTS IN SCHOOL

Primary education is for children in the age group 6-13 years or for young people and adults who might have missed a chance to attend school earlier. The subjects taken include: mathematics, English, Science and Health Education and Social Studies. In this regard, therefore science is compulsory at this level. Science and Health education essentially includes the following units:

1. Our Environment
2. Changes in our environment
3. Crop husbandry
4. Animal Husbandry
5. Systems of the mammal
6. Our Health
7. Common Diseases
8. Air, Water, and weather
9. Food and Nutrition
10. Classification and Study of living things
11. The Flowering Plants
12. Measurement
13. Forms of Energy
14. Simple machines
15. Accidents and First Aid
16. Family health and Social Problems
17. Sanitation
18. Immunisation

At secondary education level, science is covered through comprehensive programmes in Physics, Chemistry and Biology and Mathematics. Technical subjects are also included. A science and Technical curriculum at secondary school level is shown in Annex 2. Participation of girls in Physics and Chemistry is still low. However, for the few girls who offer these subjects, especially in exclusively girls' schools perform very well and pursue technical and scientific careers.

Generally, Physics and Chemistry are done poorly, possibly because these subjects are taught theoretically due to lack of equipment and apparatus. Large number of students in class also hamper interactive tutorial approaches that would have identified weaker students for remedial lessons.

It is believed that career guidance coupled with intensive counselling, and role modes can sensitize girls towards physical sciences. This will improve girls' chances of joining science oriented professions.

The table below shows the percentage of Females and Males admitted in Makerere University in science - Oriented disciplines for the period 1988-1991.

Table 3: Percentage of Females and Males in Makerere University in Science 1988-91

Courses

1988

1989

1990

1991


F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

Medicine

20

80

27

73

28

72

34

66

Vet. Medicine

3

97

13

87

08

92

07

93

Engineering

11

89

07

93

11

89

17

83

Agriculture

31

69

20

80

12

88

22

78

Forestry

12

88

17

83

14

86

15

85

Statistics

12

88

10

90

26

74

15

85

Science

13

87

13

87

29

71

22

75

Dental Surgery

10

90

22

78

10

90

25

64

Pharmacy

40

60

30

70

30

70

36

64

Food Science

13

87

36

64

40

60

36

64

Architecture

-

-

-

-

10

90

29

71

Surveying

-

-

-

-

-

-

9

91

Science/Education

5

95

40

60

18

82

28

72

Source: Makerere University: Registar's Office.

At university level, Medicine and Food Science and Technology are among the subjects where women enrollments have grown in numbers over the past five years. The Engineering and Agricultural courses have a slower enrollment growth rates. In fact women enrollment for agriculture dropped from 31% in 1988 to 12% in 1991.

CURRENT TRENDS IN EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN IN TEACHING PROFESSION (PARTICULARLY IN SCIENCE EDUCATION°.

The Ministry of Education and Sports is the biggest employer of women in the Civil service. In fact with the introduction of Universal Primary Education in January 1997, retired teachers were recalled, and now women constitute a large percentage of the total teaching force in primary section. At this level, women teachers participate less in mathematics and science - based subjects. At secondary education level, women teachers participate more in biology and chemistry. In fact there is a dearth of role models in mathematics and physics. Table 4 shows the percentage of graduate women science teachers at Diploma and Degree levels for the period 1986-96

Table 4: Percentage of female participation in teaching profession at tertiary level

Year

BSC (Ed)

BA (Ed)

TTC

NTC

1986

10.8

30

44.6

18.9

1987

6.7

35

44.5

22.7

1988

8.9

36

45

22.7

1989

11.5

33

43.5

24.9

1990

4.9

38

-

-

1991

3.8

45

-

-

1992

4.1

38

-

-

1993

11

55

-

-

1994

18.3

53

-

-

1995

30.0

49

-

-

1996

37.8

60

-

-

Bsc (Ed) Makerere University Students output: 1954-96
Ba (Ed Makerere) University Students output: 1954-96
TTC: Student Output Form Teacher Training Colleges: Report on Employment in Uganda (1995)
NTC: Student output form National Teacher Colleges - Report on Employment in Uganda (1995)

At University level, women lecturers participate more in Zoology, Botany and Science Education. Their numbers are still insignificant in engineering and mathematics.

CURRENT TRENDS IN ENROLLMENT OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN THE TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION SYSTEM

There are 24 Technical schools in Uganda Which offer basic technical education to the graduates of primary schools cycle, and after four years successful completion are awarded a Junior Technical Certificate (UJTC°. The second level consists of 33 Technical Institutes which offer craft level education and training in a limited number of trades. Entry requirements for these courses are good passes at O'level.

The third level of technical education and training is conducted in 4 Technical Colleges and one Polytechnic. These offer Diploma courses with entry requirements of at least two Principal passes at Advanced level. The Faculty of Technology at Makerere University is the apex of Technical Education in Uganda.

Female enrollment in technical Institutes, (ITI) Technical Colleges (UTC's) and Polytechnic is embarrassingly low. At Craft's level, Table 4 shows that most of the trades do not have any female students. Likewise at the Ordinary Diploma level, Table 5 illustrates clearly that the percentage of women participation in technical courses is very limited. Table 6 gives a breakdown of women students persuing Ordinary Diploma in Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.

Female enrollment in Technical Institutes, (TI), Technical Colleges (UTCS) and only polytechnic is embarrassingly low. At Craft's level most of the trades do not have any female students. Likewise at the Ordinary Diploma level.

Table 5: UPK Ordinary Diplomas: Students by course sex and year 1987/88 - 1990/91


1987/89

1988/89

1989/90

1990/91


Year 1

Year 2

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1

Year 2


M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

ADD

13

3

6

3

20

1

21

0

22

0

21

0

13

3

19

0

ODC

13

0

20

0

48

0

42

0

0

0

0

0

50

0

56

0

ODE

15

1

13

1

39

0

25

0

39

0

25

0

27

5

42

3

ODIC

8

1

4

1

4

4

8

1

12

0

10

0

9

4

10

4

ODM

28

0

30

0

50

0

45

0

50

0

45

0

38

0

51

0

ODWE

13

2

12

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

ODST

48

8

39

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

58

18

65

10

RTET

15

0

38

1

0

0

0

0

43

0

0

0

40

2

0

0

SLT

19

5

13

2

72

0

64

0

32

0

0

0

61

15

0

0

TTE

17

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

30

0

0

0

26

4

0

0

TOTAL

189

23

175

11

233

5

205

1

228

0

101

0

322

51

243

17

ADD: Architectural Design; ODC: Ordinary Diploma in Civil Engineering; ODE: Ordinary Diploma in Electrical Engineering; ODIC: Ordinary Diploma in Industrial Ceramics; ODM: Ordinary Diploma in Mechanical Engineering.; ODWE: Ordinary Diploma in Water Engineering; ODST: Ordinary Diploma in Science and Technology; RTET: Radio and Television Engineering; SLT: Sciences et Laboratory; TTE: technical Teacher Education

Table 6: Enrolment at state owned vocational school by sex

Trade

Year 93

Year 93



N° of M

N° of F

% F

% M

1

Electrical installation and fitting

117

4

3.3%

96.7%

2

Painting and Decoration

16

6

27.3%

72.7%

3

Plumbing

36

0

0.0%

100%

4

Fitting and machinery

60

0

0.0%

100%

5

Welding and fabrication

78

1

1.3%

98.7%

6

Carpentry and Joinery

66

1

1.5%

98.5%

7

Brick/block making

71

0

0%

100%;

8

Auto mechanic

7

0

0%

100%

9

Motor vehicle mechanics

14

0

0%

100%

10

Weaving and tailoring

0

34

100%

0%


TOTAL

439

46

9.5%

90.5%

Source: Table 24 shows State owned Vocational Training Institutions under the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT)

FACTORS (BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE) DETERMINING THE ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL

Although Uganda is a patriarchal society, most of the elementary shoots are co-educational and therefore all children have theoretically an equal opportunity of going to school. However, there is a high rate of female dropouts particularly in the sciences. This wastage persists at every stage right into employment.

Below are some of the numerous factors that contribute to this wastage with specific emphasis on sciences and technical/vocational education and training.

1. Most parents when confronted with financial constraints generally favour the education of male children

2. When there is need for domestic assistance, daughters are usually the preference. Also the traditional division of labour in the home is more demanding on girls than boys.

3. The children's view are influenced towards sex stereotyping at a very tender age by parents, by the different exposure they receive as girls or boys with different hobbies and household tasks and their choice of toys for each sex.

4. The majority of teachers, like numerous other members of society, have grown up with the idea that women have a different role to fulfill than men.

5. In primary school, assigning of mainly female teachers to elementary classes only serves to confirm the social expectation with regard to the role of women.

6. At secondary school level, the number of girls offering sciences is less because their teachers are mostly men and the girls think that this is man's preserve. Career guidance is given in Form IV, when most of the girls have already dropped some of the vital science subjects.

7. Early pregnancy and marriage contribute to high drop out rate. Under these circumstances, the girls are forced to terminate their education with no other alternative avenues open for mobility. Further they are scanty chances of mothers of rejoining the education mainstream.

8. At tertiary level, there are no technical shoots/institutes for women only; and those available are heavily sex stereotyped. (Note that girl's shoots perform very well in the sciences. Most females in science and technical/vocational programmes come from girls's shoots)

9. The shoots provide different treatment and experience for boys and girls in science. It is not geared towards the interests and aptitudes of girls, so when confronted with a choice, the girls naturally drop the sciences. This situation is worsened especially if the teachers are male.

10. Since text books, published materials, posters, library reference books, syllabi and examinations all impose severe constraints on the development of girls as they refer more often to males than females. When girls are referred to, it is usually in minor insignificant roles.

11. The methods of teaching sciences and treating scientific concepts do not incorporate the gender cultures and psychological factors of women. The same number of boys and girls may attend the same laboratory class but participate in unequal ways.

12. Bias in curriculum packages and lack of social context in the content of science plays a major role in producing girls'negative attitudes towards science.

13. Teachers often treat science subjects as entirely mathematical, without elaborating on concepts. Girls who may require systematic conceptual approaches are put off.

14. Teachers, parents and society at large usually use remarks which are both offensive and belittling to the girls in regard to science. Because science is considered as a boy's preserve, girls who venture to study it often find themselves in a hostile male environment. This not only creates a detestful attitude to science but also requires more effort to shun the social forces that are constantly in play.

15. Career guidance is provided by persons whose attitudes and traditions perpetuate and extend discrimination in the curricula. There is a tendency to define the careers along sex lines and science is regarded as a male career, thus forcing girls to non-scientific courses. Career services do not extend to industry to enable provisions for openings for girls.

16. The definitions of feminity imposed onto the girls is so narrow that it resolves around the home more specifically the kitchen, and more recently the church. A woman technologist or engineer is by definition not feminine, women scientists are something to marvel about.

17. In developing countries, Uganda inclusive, parental support and encouragement of girls in sciences is very minimal and in more cases than not, end up in discouragement. Most girls do not have much contact with women scientists to serve as their role models.

18. Obtaining the same certificate does not give a guarantee of an equal welcome on the labour market. Once employment has been obtained, women cannot work under the same conditions as men, since they have additional responsibilities which society expects them to fulfil.

19. For women already in science and technological careers, they continue to suffer marginalisation and sometimes complete exclusion from the male peers. The expectations placed on them to perform both according to and counter to traditional roles make career advancement very difficult. Discriminatory attitudes continue to be exercised at the work place, and women's contributions are frequently ignored or underrated.

20. Most employers especially in scientific and technological establishment are not sensitive to the values of women as they consider the double burden of motherhood a disruption to their work processes. This occurs mainly because of the dominance of men in the establishment and is detrimental to women's aspirations.

21. Most of the science-oriented careers are not paying as business careers. Girls are therefore not ready to toil through to medicine and eventually earn low pay.

22. Most scientific and technological careers take long through research. Girls are not ready to grow to thirty years old while in colleges and universities. By the time they finish a first degree, their orientation focuses on marriage and family.

23. Most of the universities and polytechnics do not recruit individuals with qualifications below a master's degree. The performance of girls at first degree level is below upper second class. This means that very few female qualify for postgraduate studies, and hence cannot teach in colleges and other tertiary institutions.

There are however some positive factors that are now determining the orientation of girls towards science education. Some of these are:

· The few female scientists/engineers we have in Uganda are mostly employed in teaching and lecturing. This is creating a positive impact on girls who are in education mainstream.

· In the Civil service men and women get the same pay at equal rank. There is no discrimination in this regard.

· As society gets more urbanized, the traditional barriers and structures will slowly crumble, giving greater latitude for education and employability.

PRESENT MEASURES TO PROMOTE EQUAL ACCESS OF GIRLS TO SCIENCE EDUCATION AND TECHNICAL/VOCATIONAL EDUCATIONµ

PRESENT MEASURES

Government Policy

While by 1985 the Government Policy was merely limited to ensuring equal education opportunities to every Ugandan without discrimination, the current policy in education encourages positive discrimination in favour of women until gender balance is attained. This policy is being implemented in Government institutions of higher learning, where an additional 1.5 bonus weight is given to female applicants in the University Entrance weighting system. Because of this measure the percentage of women in tertiary institutions has increased from 25% to 34 % in a period of three years. Science departments likewise have recorded higher'intakes.

Remedial Lessons

A number of renowned teachers/professors in sciences conduct holiday classes for those students who feel they are either behind or want to excel. About 80 percent of participants are girls from good secondary shoots. This measure has enabled many more girls to join professional courses in tertiary institutions.

Professional Organisations, notably the Uganda Institutions of Professional Engineers has an Education Committee where Counselling and Career guidance are emphasized. Visits are made to mostly urban and peri-urban shoots and career talks conducted. The author has been in this area for over ten years now and makes more visits to only girls' shoots and co-educational institutions

The Ministry of Education and Sports has an Inspectorate of Education where the department of Counselling and Career Guidance exists. It is supposed to promote and disseminate information in this area. Its impact however, is still minimal due to logistical problems.

Innovative Practices

An important innovation which is to be initiated from upper primary (standard V) is the progressive introduction of practical subjects in the name of vocationalisation of education. The idea is to change the current largely negative attitude amongst pupils towards agriculture and other practical subjects. It it hoped that girls will be introduced to practical subjects early enough by this new innovation.

Government, NGOs and various donor organisation have made great efforts to improve the status of women and increase their participation in technological and economic aspects of the country. In particular, affirmative action in higher education, plans for stop-gap measures for recruitment, training and promotion of women in the formal sector; reviews on legislation, legal advocacy; efforts to diversify women's employment and training, appropriate technology for certain economic activities and for certain household activities; all are promoting women's participation in science and technical/vocational areas.

Difficulties encountered in promoting equal access of girls to science and VET

Vocationalisation of education is a good concept but expensive and cannot therefore be implemented under the present financial constraints.

Women scientists change careers and this constitutes a wastage of human resource.

There are no established reporting procedures between sectorial ministries, data-collection agencies and particularly with the Ministry of Gender and Community Development. In this case therefore reliable data on women/girls participation in science and technology - related activities is scanty.

As retrenchment rages on unabatedly, more women will have to join the informal sector. In this regard scientists/technologists have to undertake business and entrepreneurship courses.

Women science tutors/teachers have to be encouraged to stay in the mainstream of their careers. At present the attrition rate is high.

The absence of female technical officers to handle women and gender issues at the local levels is a major constraint. Linkages between the National machinery and the grassroot level are also weak, making the impact of the National machinery less effective. This means that participation of girls/women in science oriented activities is minimal.

Strategies

Government will continue to mobilise both human and financial resources so as to strengthen the National Machinery for the advancement and empowerment of women.

The White Paper on education recommends the following:

- designing a curriculum that will enable individuals to develop basic scientific, technological; technical, agricultural and commercial skills required for self employment.

- Vocational secondary education should not only cease to be terminal but should also provide students with diversified opportunities for further studies in their chosen vocational fields.

A nationwide information system should provide the required data for guidance and counselling services. For this purpose, special facilities and personnel would be required for collecting, classifying and disseminating information on each profession as well as on the needs of employment and the world of work.

Effective curriculum planning and development in this area should be a dynamic process. It must respond both to the needs of the individual and to the technical requirement of the job, as well as to the changes in job patterns caused by scientific and technological development and socio-economic change. If the above strategies are implemented effectively, they are likely to enhance participation of women/girls in science and technical/vocational areas.

SPECIFIC INFORMATION REQUIRED CONCERNING SCIENCE EDUCATION

Compulsory or Optional Science Education

At the primary level of education, the curriculum includes Science and Health education which are compulsory to all pupils, and is examinable at the end of the 7th year at school.

Secondary education has compulsory and optional subject areas. Amount the compulsory subjects are Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. In order to qualify for a Uganda Certificate of examination at the end of the 12th grade, one has at least do either Biology of Agriculture. In this respect therefore every effort is being made to ensure that pupils are given basic aspects of the living world.

Integrated VS Subject Specialization

In Uganda, integrated science is not offered. Subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, and Biology have distinct syllabi, although a slight overlap exists in areas of modem science.

Timing of Specialization

Students have to choose either nine or ten subjects out of Ordinary level curriculum. They do this at the end of their second year in lower secondary i.e. in Senior II, and they sit for their O'level examination in Senior four. This choice gives them a combination of both science and humanity options. After Ordinary level, students proceed to Higher School Certificate programmes where they are free to take one of the many combinations of subjects. However, the combinations have either Science or Humanities orientation. At this level there are clear subjects combinations which indeed determine whether one will be a scientist, social scientist, lawyer, etc.

Health and Environmental Issues

The Education Policy Review Commission of 1989 pointed out that the development of awareness and concern for protection of the environment should form part of; the strategy for environmental education. This aspect of education is now reflected in the educational objectives and curriculum at all levels of education. The current curriculum and objectives of Science and Health Education in Primary Shoots in Ugandan stress the inculcation on an understanding, appreciation, protection and utilization of the natural environment using scientific and technological knowledge.

There is already a well equipped Department of Environment and Natural Resources at Makerere University.

In the non-formal sector, community service schemes for the youth have been started. Their activities include tree planting, spring cleaning and terracing. School's participation in these activities have been encouraging and have ensured better understanding of the environment by the pupils.

Teaching of Skills and Values

The role and value of science education in national development is not emphasized in the delivery system. Pupils do science subjects because they have to pass examination. Differentiation between education and training is also still not very clear. Most pupils and students do not aim early enough at acquiring a skill for life-long applications.

The source of this embarrassment is that the education system is not linked to the world of work. Vocational education and training, where skills are imparted, has low status in the public eye. There is therefore need not only to sensitize the population but also to review and streamline technical/vocational curricula.

Retention of qualified tutors, teachers and instructors in science education is extremely hard. Because of poor remuneration, qualified personnel are forced to look elsewhere. There is also an anomaly at the tertiary level in that very bright students do not go to teaching and vocational education and training options. Consequently, individuals of only average abilities stay in these vital areas. Consequently research and development in these areas is adversely affected.

Academic Background of Science Students

About two decades ago, only very bright students could join Mathematics and Science options. Indeed students who had 3A's in Science subjects could choose to join teaching, as it was a respectable profession. However, what we have now is an exact opposite. Academic background of a prospective teacher is most often, low. In fact some teachers were drafted into profession.

FUTURE STRATEGIES AND PLANS

POLICY

The Government of the Republic of Uganda has, this year, started implementing the recommendation of “White Paper on Education” of universalization of primary education. Unfortunately some families still keep their children at home to continue with household work such as babysitting and cultivation! Government may have to enforce or legislate a law against denying education to all citizens of Uganda.

Vocationalization

Education at all levels should aim at equipping the persons with knowledge and skills that are useful for productive work. Such education also helps in developing healthy attitude toward manual labour and a more balanced personality. This is the basis for vocationalization of education at both primary and secondary education levels.

The strategy will be to involve parents in the implementation of vocationalization, as it is expensive for Government alone.

Social, Psychological and Education Factors

There is need to embark on a long journey of:

· Changing the negative attitude of girls' home environment towards science and technical/vocation education and training.

· Cultivating interest among girls towards scientific occupation.

· Creating role models/or changing teachers' attitudes towards girls in shoots or women in non-formal establishments.

· Creating or identifying firms with experience in training girls in the technical sector.

· Creating a smooth transfer bridge between school and apprenticeship for girls and women.

Training officers, consultants and teachers should be familiarized with the obstacles that especially beset girls in their particular training sector. These activities should also be directed to the use of materials suitable for training girls and their didactic applications, and to the specific aspects of the supervision of girls.

Counselling and Guidance will form a large component of the activities in the promotion of equal access of girls to science education and technical and vocational education and training. Even those who are to do the counselling must be sensitized well enough to appreciate the delicate nature and magnitude of the problem.

Examples abound when fellow girls have discouraged their fellow girls form doing mathematics or many other scientific subjects.

The Promotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Africa Case Study of Senegal

Mr. Mamadou SAGNANE*

* Director of Secondary and technical Education - Ministry of National Education - Senegal.

For nearly a quarter century now, the International Community, through the intermediary of the United Nations System, considering the complexity of relations between education and the development process, has been labouring to carve women a prime place, a pivotal status in society, where they are rightfully demanding a truly equal chance at education.

Hence, fortified by the basic premise that no nation in the world could prosper without social cohesion among it various components - the guarantee of a homogeneous society sealed by the virtues of collective solidarity - decision-makers worldwide have organized a series of international meetings characterized by straightforward debate about the major issues affecting the future of humanity. Among others, we are referring to:

- The World Conference on Education for All (1990);
- The World Summit for Children (1990);
- The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992);
- The Global Conference on Human Rights (1993);
- The International Conference on Population and Development (1994);
- The World Summit for Social Development;
- The Fourth World Conference on Women (1995)

But it is clearly the UNESCO Convention bearing on the Fight Against Discrimination in the Field of Education (1960) which was first devoted to reorienting values by extolling the basic reasons of human equality and advocating equal chances at education for women and girls.

The celebration of UNESCO's fiftieth anniversary was also a privileged occasion to stress the decisive role of education in preparing women and men to the exalting task of transforming the human condition by bringing back home and reclaiming their individual and collective destiny.

Having become aware of the serious risks and dangers that can arise from marginalizing women, principally because of outmoded and stereotyped thinking, the International Community has, through the three United Nations Conferences on Population held in Bucharest (1973), Mexico (1984) and Cairo (1994), and chiefly the four conferences on Women organized in Mexico (1975), in Copenhagen (1980), Nairobi (1980) and in Beijing (1995), inspired a whole series of works and studies which originated from the United Nations Decade of the Woman: Equality, Development and Peace, 1975 - 1985.

Our study, “The Promotion of Equal Access of Girls to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Africa,” will borrow somewhat from statistics and previously formulated key concepts on the issue, as initiated by the International Labour Office and occasionally in collaboration with UNESCO.

As stipulated in the terms of reference, beyond the principal general issues linked to the status of girls and women in society, the perspectives related to their roles in socioeconomic development and current trends in job opportunities - principally in the field of education - and the extent to which this population enrolls in the technical and vocational education system, our study will generally attempt:

- to bring out the economic, sociological, technological and educational factors determining girls' orientation towards STVE;

- to assess measures currently underway in motion to help promote equal access for girls to STVE;

- to provide information on the teaching of the sciences, of technology and environment in relation to the girls' acquisition of knowledge in those diverse areas;

- and finally, to describe the future strategies and plans that must be implemented.

In light of these first observations, one might naturally wonder about the appropriateness of such a study concentrating on the education of girls in the scientific, technical and professional areas if it is indeed true that by focusing exclusively on the younger part of the population, one might risk falling into the same trap of discrimination within society.

Such a query might seem absurd, particularly for Africa, where women constitute over than 50% of the population, and where economic and social development is still linked to the emancipation of all its sons and daughters. Indeed, that emancipation will basically depend on the diverse yet complementary components of education and training.

Most women and girls in Africa can neither read nor write; this confines them to a pitiful status from every angle, whether at home, in school, in their community, or at work.

As victims of social burdens that confine them to the limited roles of keeper of the home and mere baby-maker, women truly have a hard time getting ahead through education and training, because of the distorting prism through which society views them and which, at the limit, keep resurging even in the work place. Despite adamant vows advocating democratization, women are still being put down at work because of diehard social and legal barriers.

However, given the many sensitization campaigns, perspectives on the recognized roles of girls are steadily losing ground. In fact, in vaunting their slogan “Educate a woman and you educate a Nation,” governments are demonstrating their heightened awareness that by endowing this vulnerable group with the tools of wisdom and know-how, they are offering it an opportunity to bring all its weight to bear in the nation's future by helping to fight effectively against injustice and discrimination.

Moreover, this revival can be seen in the many African countries included in the 1994 data base compiled by the International Labor Office. It revealed that from 1975 to 1992, an impressively rising number of women were engaged in non-agriculture related employment.

Job opportunity trends today are largely favorable, with girls and women gaining more and more access to specialized or technical professions, and even to administrative or director's posts, just like their counterparts in industrialized countries. At the same time, it would be difficult to analyze the employment trends because of the large proportion of jobs in the informal and farming sectors.

Still, this rosy picture should not hide the forest for the trees -most studies corroborate show just how much old prejudices are still entrenched regarding the choices girls make about school - most of them opt for predominantly literary studies, or those which because of their short term, cover specific areas generally reserved for girls -especially in the tertiary and social sectors. They are the most popular sections, due to certain cliches and socio-cultural factors which in the public imagination raise barriers not necessarily institutional but certainly sociological and linked to society's very cultural and religious values insidiously secreted in the back of the collective mind...

A priori, this might partially explain African leaders' efforts to encourage girls' orientation towards the scientific and technical streams in order to strengthen the female teaching potential in those areas. This would give girls a chance to identify with their elders who have succeeded in conquering the psychosis of failure.

ORIENTATION OF GIRLS TOWARDS SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

Faced with the same constraints, African countries indubitably are experiencing the same problems and remain on the receiving end of a whole set of factors, both positive and negative, which decide girls' orientation towards scientific, technical and professional education.

Senegal's example, since it illustrates the situation for the entire continent, will serve as a reference point and symbol in this study.

a) Economic Factors:

Statistics for 1992 reveal that out of a total population of 7,709,000 inhabitants with a growth rate of 2.8%, women represent 51.37%, a major proportion of which is struck by poverty, misery and illiteracy, so many evils that truly constitute blocks to economic and social development. As proof, in 1995, the female population represented 58% of the illiterate, indeed 78.8% among adult women. This certainly excludes a good number of them from decision-making bodies.

The summary table below clearly outlines these trends:

Table 1: Representation of Women at all levels of Education

Women

%

Entire Country %

- No school

76.5

69.0

- Primary Level

16.7

20.3

- Secondary Level, 1st Cycle

-

5.2

- Secondary Level, 2nd Cycle

3.8

2.0

- Higher Education

-

0.9

- Other

1.1

2.7


0.3



1.5


b) Sociological Factors

Besides religion, culture and tradition still remain encased in archaic molds that discourage the advancement of women. Indeed, many people are still convinced that marriage is the best future for a women. Moreover, society continues to remain ill-informed, mired in its thinking that the sub-sector of technical and vocational education is reserved primarily for men. Unfortunately, graduates in that field are still considered to be mere blue collar workers, when even the orientation policies so staunchly promoted insist on the democratic nature of education, offering equal chances of success to everyone, free of discrimination of any sort.

c) Technological Factors

Changes in the world of work are nonetheless inducing girls to invest themselves in those trades which can stimulate economic growth such as clothing, sewing/embroidery, processing enterprises, construction, transport, trade and entrepreneurship. However, the methods used are still outmoded, due to a notorious lack of training and modem technology.

d) Factors Related to Employment

The job market is so tight that men are hired first, and women are mainly handicapped by maternity leave, which renders them less cost-efficient on the professional plan.

Increasingly, however, given the lack of job opportunities other than those offered by the private sector - the sole provider of jobs - self-employment is being encouraged more and more and is reflected even in the type of training offered in many structures.

d) Educational Factors

Girls and boys have practically the same chances, at least until the age of 16, when it is no longer mandatory to attend school. The gap widens in secondary and higher education, as well as in technical and vocational education. In that regard, the figures for 1992 noted below speak eloquently of the typical situation in Senegal.

LEVEL

BOYS %

GIRLS %

*Pre-School

2

02

a) Gross Attendance Rate

-

-

b) Net Attendance Rate

67

50


55

42

Primary

92

83

Secondary

22

12

Higher/Advanced

1.8

0.3

In general education, girls usually stop at the threshold of the university, while in science education, the choices offered to them are limited because of old-fashioned, backward ideas still alive in society.

In technical/vocational education, the proliferation of specialized training schools offers more opportunities, but there is often the keen problem of adequate means, for such structures have a private status, with rates often inaccessible to certain classes of society. Fortunately, in the specific case of Senegal, special sections are slowly being opened in secondary technical institutions with more affordable fees. Since they are more socially oriented, they help meet girls' pressing training needs, particularly in fields such as management, accounting, computer science, etc., and thereby help them realize legitimate aspirations.

CURRENT MEASURES TO PROMOTE EQUAL ACCESS OF GIRLS TO SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

In the past twenty years, numerous surveys have been conducted on the behavioral differences between men and women with regard to mathematics and natural sciences. The surveys focus on the performances of the two genders and their perception of the social role of those disciplines.

The value of these works has been to reveal a few highly significant facts: when they leave elementary school, girls on the whole obtain the same results as boys in math and natural sciences, and even better. Nonetheless, their performance lowers considerably at the end of the first cycle of secondary school, for they lose confidence in their ability to master these subjects and/or drop them when they become optional.

Even when they do well in school, girls tend to chose advanced studies with little science content and turn en masse to the liberal arts, the humanities or secretarial services.

Despite divergent interpretations of this phenomenon, surveys conducted tend to show that it is not because of a biological predisposition that males and females acquire a particular type of knowledge, but because of stereotyped social expectations based on sexual differentiation and linked to the economic and cultural roles of males and females in society.

Practically all African countries are affected by this same phenomenon. Certain steps are being taken in some places to find a solution.

A) At the Technical/Vocational Education Level

From the elementary cycle to the higher education level, the system of orientation is also applied based on a student's capacity, without sexual discrimination.

Manual work in school is an integral part of the 6th and 5th forms in middle school (7th and 8th years after pre-school). Students in the 4th and 3rd forms (9th/10th grades) of the same cycle are introduced to technology and economics. The only problem is that these subjects are only found in the Technical Secondary Schools (CEMT/TSS). Plans have been made to generalize such teaching in all the high schools (1st cycle) and colleges.

It must be pointed out that the specific commission for orientating students leaving the middle cycle into technical education, makes no distinction between boys and girls. However, it often honors students' choices. This means that many girls, for lack of information about the various streams of technical education, ask to go into the tertiary sector.

Experience shows that in order to promote girls' access to technical education in general and to industrial technical education in particular, students in 10th and 11th grades must be invited to visit workshops in technical high schools, and allowed to handle the tooling machines, under the watchful eye of the professor supervising the workshop. This visual observation would allow one to pierce the veil of myths surrounding these trades in girls' minds.

B) Didactic Methods

The objective of rethinking teaching methods does not mean merely to rework ways of promoting girls' access to the above-mentioned streams but to correct their poor performance in them.

The objectives and ultimate goals of teaching sciences and technology coordinated from the elementary cycle up to the higher level, and passing through the general and secondary cycle, will henceforth be to engender scientific vocations through a training method which - while ensuring the cultural and social growth of the individual will definitely work for the good of the community by making the best possible contribution to Senegal's economic and social development.

In order to ensure a person's harmonious integration into society, this training must be designed so it can work effectively towards meeting the demands of technological development and progress.

This new methodological approach will consist, moreover of the following:

· to guarantee training which relates school to life, theory to the practical, education to production, and to develop the intellectual capacities and manual agility, while at the same time preparing students for making a smooth transition into professional careers;

· to adapt subject content, objectives and methods to the specific needs of those receiving instruction;

· to establish bridges between the various streams and levels of education, thereby permitting the reorientation desired and deemed legitimate;

· to institute special education for the social integration and reinsertion of victims of various handicaps and social maladjustments;

· to develop in the pupil, and later in the student, a methodological, experimental and scientific way of thinking; and finally,

· to serve as mediator to enable the person being taught to apprehend, understand, interpret and act on his/her technological environment.

INCENTIVE MEASURES FAVOURING EMPLOYMENT (INCLUDING SELF-EMPLOYMENT) IN THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS

In light of the difficulty encountered in incorporating the various streams into active life, educational programmes now have included training for self-employment, as the public sector is no longer obligated to guarantee jobs.

Hence, in order to encourage private initiatives, the Government has, for example, set up the Economic Promotion Fund, which is open to all Senegalese, although the private sector is not recruiting much either, due to the current economic crisis. Faced with these difficulties, women are now encouraged to invest in “economic interest groups,” (GIEs) or cooperatives to work together. Members of these groups pitch in their own money to build up funds, and at the same time solicit various donors to obtain financing which is indispensable for attaining their goals.

A mutual savings and loan association called the African Network for the Support of Women Entrepreneurs (RASEF) has been created to help businesswomen promote their respective activities.

SPECIFIC ACTIVITIES INVOLVING SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION

Science education is mandatory. However, candidates can opt to take exams in science in technology or not for the BFEM (End of Secondary Cycle Examination). It has been recommended that these subjects be made mandatory for the BFEM.

The specialized subjects are introduced early, from the primary cycle, when the child is introduced to scientific knowledge by methodical observation of familiar objects first, and then of physical phenomena and natural chemistry. This training will be repeated and developed at every level in which the student will be obliged to acquire knowledge and know-how. Such empowerment will help him/her grow into an adult capable of working effectively towards building the nation.

The incorporation of health and environmental issues is taken into account and further stressed in Senegal by the initiation in 1993 of the Education to Family Living and Population Issues Project (EVP/EMP) in the primary cycle. Population issues have engendered programmes coordinated around four conceptional areas or frameworks of reference:

1. Population and Family,
2. Population and Health,
3. Population and Migration.

Through this project, students acquire skills related to:

· a capacity for analyzing problems in their environment related to the causes and effects of big families and to helping find solutions to them;

· the capacity to identify the obstacles within the family that block women's advancement;

· the capacity to familiarize themselves with their rights and duties vis-a-vis their parents, and to create the conditions enabling them to guarantee those rights and to fulfill their duties;

· the capacity to learn the connection between the state of health of populations and the socioeconomic development of their country, and to adopt responsible behavior towards health issues so they can improve the quality of living and finally;

· the capacity to learn the causes and effects of the high mortality rate and to assume behavior that will help reduce that rate.

FUTURE STRATEGIES AND PLANS

In the current context with an extremely high student/teacher ratio, it is practically impossible to proceed with solid and practical applications, for theoretical feedback alone is not enough to prove one has received a proper scientific and technical education.

For all scientific and technical disciplines, goals for the acquisition of knowledge must be set and assessed to correspond better to the demands of the labour market.

The following arrangements have recently been implemented in order to solve the problems mentioned:

a) Concerning the Teaching of Physical and Natural Sciences:

1 - Elaboration of an updated table of statistics on the availability of personnel, of special classrooms, and indicating the condition of equipment in order to determine what instruments must be made;

2 - Reinstitution of the Standing Secretariat at the Ministry of National Education to ensure that there is always reflection bearing on scientific and technological education;

3 - Realizing the project to create a Science High School of Excellence;

4 - Improvement of the material conditions of science teachers by establishing special allowances for them;

5 - Creation of a quality control corps in middle and secondary education;

6 - Extension of scientific and technological blocs (BST) to all the regions.

b) Concerning Technical and Vocational Education:

1 - Creation of a national harmonization committee with the actual participation of people from the world of work;

2 - Drafting an organizational chart showing all the possible bridges between the various streams of study;

3 - Preparation of a harmonized school location chart to avoid any disparities in the location and installation of teaching establishments;

4 - Creation of new sections and reinforcement of acquired pedagogical skills;

5 - Creation and rehabilitation of infrastructures and equipment.

CONCLUSION

As part of an extended series of activities initiated by the Joint ILO/UNESCO Programme subsequent to the Jomtien World Conference (1990) specifying firstly, equal access and treatment in training and vocation, and secondly, the elimination of every form of discrimination related to technical and vocational education, this study, having made its observations about various trends and strategies for implementing a veritable policy promoting girls and women in the changing field of STVE, shall risk a few summary concluding remarks:

· Governments must do more to show true political will, in pursuance of the fundamental provisions of Article 96 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1945), adopted by UNESCO in 1960 and which to date has been ratified by 84 States; it bears on the fight against discrimination in the field of education. These conventions, which so powerfully advocate equal chances and equal treatment among girls and boys, corroborate (as though it were necessary) the concept by which the combat for development, justice, equality and the recognition of human dignity by allowing everyone to dream of labouring his/her furrow in the fields of society and reap its rewards, is certainly a just cause. It is worth leading this combat in order to wipe out illiteracy and poverty, those evils which UNESCO has so rightfully stressed are very active and interdependent of one another.

· The promotion of girls' equal access to scientific and vocational education in Africa is inevitably achieved by expanding little girls' horizons and fighting against social conditioning - for no law currently exists prescribing a change in the arbitrary distribution of functions between men and women.

Sociologist Evelyne Sullerot makes a valid suggestion in her UNESCO study entitled “Changes in the Roles of Men and Women in Europe.” Rather than convince oneself about “the negative, denigrating or restrictive nature of their roles,” women must instead look for ways to “transform those roles into a sentient, organized power.”

APPENDIX

PERCENTAGE OF WOMEN TEACHERS IN TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

A sampling of four** African countries yields statistical results varying from 8.59% to 12.7%, and rising to 23.3% and 24% between 1988-89 and 1992-93.

PERCENTAGE OF FEMALE STUDENTS IN TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION

COUNTRY

1988-89

1990-91

1992-93

1995-96

Senegal

32.35%



41%

Mali


67.4%



Benin


47.4%



Agriculture

12.22 %


Industry

22.92 %

1993-94

Commerce

90.52 %


Home Economics

99.79 %


1992-93 ECICA



Industry

18.57 %


Tertiary

134.97%


1992-93 Technical High School


MALI-BAMAKO

Ind. Tech. (TI)

)

9.73%

Civ. Engineering (TCG)

)

9.73%

Engineering or Electricity?? (TE)

)

9.73%

PERCENTAGE OF FEMALE STUDENTS IN ADVANCED VOCATIONAL EDUCATION,

1995-96



School of Science

11.6%


Science and Technical



(Communications-Technology)

33.19%

Senegal

Agriculture

12.9 %


(** Translator's note: only 3 countries are actually cited)

COUNTRY/TERTIARY

1975%

1980%

1985%

1990%

1992%

Botswana

19

24

30

33

36

Gambia

10

12

15

-

-

Kenya

16

17

20

21

22

Malawi

7

9

16

11

-

Mauritius

20

26

34

37

38

Nigeria

4

4

7

11

9

Tanzania

12

17

17

-

-

Swaziland

22

26

31

-

-

Zimbabwe

13

13

16

15

16

*Countries for which data is available (closest year) without a break in the source series: Data base of the International Labour Office, 1994. In the World Report on Education, 1995, page 62. Editions UNESCO.

Promotion of Equal Access of Girls to Vocational and Science Education in Swaziland

Comfort B.S. MNDEBELE*

* Senior Lecturer, Vocational and Agricultural Education, University of Swaziland, P.Q. Luyengo - Campus - Swaziland.

Background to the Problem

Endeavours have been made to reduce gender stratification within vocational as well as science education and the labour market in Swaziland. National policies have been developed to promote equal access of females to resources for the enhancement of women's full participation in economic development. However, society's; teachers' and students' attitudes are not easily changed because of firmly embedded gender-role norms and work force expectations. Swazi society transmits sex stereotyped role models to children from early childhood through informal and formal education processes as well as through workplace role models; “ In Swaziland, gender biases an sex stereotypes are ingrained in societal attitudes held in the family, school, and workplace “ (Mnedebele, 1996, p. 134). As Kerego (1995) rightly puts (p.20).

The traditional values of the Swazi woman are expected to include obedience, submissiveness, and humility. Women are also discouraged from being argumentative, critical and confrontational, particularly in the presence of men. The socialization process leading to these attributes tends to limit women's access to the kinds of educational opportunities which demand and enhance assertiveness, debate, dialogue, critical thinking, experimentation and inquisitiveness.

However, great efforts continue to be exerted through research endeavours to address gender disparity and equity problems in Swaziland (Mndebele, 1996). These are attempts to decrease the existence of sex stereotyping and discrimination in vocational technical education (Mndebele, 1996).

Statement of the Problem

People's perceptions of gender roles can be an obstacle to educational, occupational, and leisure choices. A solution to the problem of promoting access to, and equality in, vocational and science education may lie in altering attitudes and conceptions of gender roles embedded in the institutions of Swazi society. For attitudes are assumed to guide people to adopt different occupational and workplace roles. Because attitudes are learned, they can also be changed by education. Knowledge about gender-role attitudes in vocational and science education and in the workplace can help prepare people choose and train for occupations nontraditional for their sex. Further, consciousness about the genesis and nature of gender-role attitudes and practices, and their impact on behaviour, has the potential to help teachers, parents and policy makers work towards the elimination of gender-role stereotyping. This investigation attempted to answer the research question: What is the status regarding the promotion of equal access of girls/women to vocational and science education in Swaziland?

Statement of the Purpose

The purpose of the study was to survey and aggregate data on the status of women and girls in the context of vocational and science education, and determine the participation and promotion of equal access of women and girls in vocational/occupational and science education in Swaziland. Further, the study ascertained knowledge of, consciousness about, and awareness of gender-role attitudes, practices and policy measures that constrain full participation of females in the economic development of Swaziland.

Data Collection Procedures

Although the discipline of education is primarily concerned with people, many interesting and useful research projects in the area have been concerned with information obtained by examining existing records and documents of primary data. Much available statistical data refer to socio-economic information about age, sex, family size and occupation. In addition, a small but steadily increasing body of data is being collected by various institutions on psychological characteristics such as personality, anxiety and attitudes. Available statistical records are now being used as social indicators to chart the status and change in the quality of life (Kidder, 1981, p. 285). Among these opportunities is the chance to analyze educational attainment, ethnic and sex segregation, poverty, marriage and divorce and occupational mobility.

CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK: GENDER INEQUALITIES

Gender inequality: An Overview

In the last half decade, popular conceptions and media portrayals of workers in occupations nontraditional for their sex have been changing considerably in Swaziland. But the number of opposite sex workers in occupations that have been traditionally typed for one sex has not increased dramatically. Stereotypes displaying men as doers women as mere helpers remain strong in Swaziland. Subsequently, these stereotypes stand in the way of recruitment to occupations and vocational technical preparation programmes non traditional for females. This results in women being locked into a small and limited number of occupations.

In Africa, South of Sahara, access to education and land for women, and opportunities of women to high profile positions are generally low. “Traditionally in Swaziland, boys generally take up technical studies while girls take up home economics. In business and agriculture the divisions are less rigid but selection of subjects is still sex-determined to some extent” (Educansult Limited, 1992). As regards sex-intensiveness of a field, “many researchers consider a field to be sex-intensive if 70% or more of the workers employed nationally are of one sex” (Culver & Burge, 1985).For example, if female workers make up 30% or less of an occupational area, the occupations are those with a ratio smaller than the 70:30 standard. Going by this definition, in the Swaziland context, home economics is a female-intensive programme whereas technical (trade and industrial) education is a male-intensive programme or occupation (Mndebele, 1996).

Social beliefs influence and are influenced by school's curricula and teachers. In Swaziland gender biases and sex stereotypes are ingrained in societal attitudes held in the family, school and work place (Mndebel, 1995). For example, teachers tell students to ask their mothers to pack a school lunch, sending the message that domestic and parenting home chores are meant for females. Stressing the importance of teachers as role models in facilitative measures to address issues and problems of gender stereotypes and equity in the Swaziland educational system, Educansult Limited (1992) stated that:

As long as men do not participate in the traditionally female fields, there will continue to be a perception in society that some jobs are women's and other jobs are men's. Those women who do manage to enter the “male” fields will continue to be seen as aberrations. However, when men are encouraged to select their careers based on their true interests and abilities, rather than on the general perception of what is acceptable, gender stereotyping begins to break down. As is true for female students studying with a female woodwork instructor, male students will be much more positively influenced actively meeting (and studying under) a male home economist than by being told that such things are possible.

Acquisition of cultural knowledge by vocational instructors for working with gender stereotypes is of paramount importance. Gender disparities in educational settings are merely the consequence of formal instruction but rather in a more profound way the culture of the school is involved in constructing gender and sexuality through the hidden curriculum teaching “ in an implicit way meanings and behaviours associated with femaleness and maleness, with feminity as women and thus perceive themselves as inferior. This is socialization that fosters and reproduces the cultural stereotypes of women.

Gender and Barriers to Nontraditional employment

A large body of literature exists concerning barriers faced by those who are interested in nontraditional employment. These studies have implications for the improvement of sex equity through vocational technical education. These barriers are (Burge & Hillison, 1987,:

(a) poor self concept,
(b) fear of failure,
(c) lack of achievement motivation, and (g) external locus of control (p.11).

Let us brief describe each of these barriers that students who want to prepare for occupations nontraditional for their sex, and workers who may wish to look for jobs in such areas may encounter.

· Poor self concept: Attitudes and behaviours that males and females express toward sex roles influence their self concepts. As persons develop positive aspects of their self-concept, their personal confidence allows them to expand their choice of personality traits beyond those considered appropriate for their sex (Burge & Hillison, 1987). Females, more often than males, frequently need more of the process of individuation in the development of more positive attitudes of self worth (Frantz & White in Burge & Hillison, 1987). Those people who suffer from poor self-esteem are unlikely to go for the unknown which may be presented by vocational preparation and employment nontraditional for their sex. Persons of this nature, are more likely to opt for low-risk pursuit of vocational training and employment such as those traditional for their sex, than not.

· Fear of Failure: Defining fear of failure, Atkinson in Burge and Hillison (1987)) state that it is a “disposition to avoid failure and/or a capacity for experiencing shame and humiliation as a consequences of failure” (p. 12). Females have traditionally been socialized to be dependent rather than independent, thus they tend to lack the courage to express publicly an occupational aspiration in a nontraditional area. They fear public humiliation in the event they fail.

· Fear of Success: Females who have a fear of success, more likely than not, may shy away from developing interests and skills that are likely to lead them to competition with males, and success may lose them friendships with both men and women. On the one hand men may not like the competition, and on the other hand, women may view the successful women in a nontraditional area as rather unfeminine. For women with behaviour choices that are limited to feminine activities, may feel threatened.

· Role Conflict: In a traditional sense woman perform the role of complementing a significant male. Women are perceived as the left hand in this role of helper to the more powerful and respected right hand (Illich, in Burge and Hillison, 1987). Men are expected to work outside the home while women keep house. A double-role conflict emerges and indeed occurs when a woman, in a society that expects her to keep house, wishes not only to work away from home, but also work in a nontraditional occupation for her sex.

· Lack of Nontraditional Role Model: Lack of a role model for combining work and family role is important for both males and females. Studies have indicated that females whose mothers did not work after marriage were less likely to pursue a career nontraditional for their sex (Linkan in Burge & Hillison, 1987). Further research has shown that females who chose opposite-sex occupations had mothers who were better educated and worked away from home (Lynn in Burge & Hillison, 1987). Presently in Swaziland, it appears that women are making progress in becoming working role models for the generation to come, but not often enough in nontraditional occupations.

· Lack of Achievement Motivation: Males, more frequently than females, are encouraged and sometimes even pressured to enter competitive environments. This orientation for achievement obtains in most things that males engage in inclusive of vocational preparation and employment. Females, on the other hand have been more concerned, traditionally, about marriage, family, personal contacts, and social service (Sullivan in Burge & Hillison, 1987). There is a tendency by parents the spouse and significant others to discourage females who wish to achieve in nontraditional areas of vocational training and employment.

· External Locus of Control: Locus of control makes a significant contribution to how persons view prospective occupational preparation and career choice. In a study (Burlin in Burge & Hillison, 1987,) of adolescents, females with an internal locus of control preferred nontraditional occupations. It would appear that persons with the highest degree of internal locus of control, as opposed to those with a high degree of external locus of control, are more willing to take chances and be adventurous. A person with a greater internal locus of control will more than likely operate from a more secure psychological base. Females tend to have a high degree of external locus of control rather than a high degree of internal locus control observable more in males.

GENDER INEQUALITIES IN THE SWAZILAND CONTEXT

Gender Disparity in Education: an overview

Greater efforts continue to be exerted through research endeavours to address gender disparity and equity problems in Swaziland in an attempts to decrease the existence of sex stereotyping in vocational education (Mndebele, 1996). Swaziland has made some progress in promoting women in the education sector. For an example, the male and female participation rates in the primary and secondary schools are equitable (Educansult Limited, 1992). Female teachers outnumber male teachers at both primary and secondary schools. Further a large number of headteachers, in particular, are females at the primary schools.

These female headteachers are paid equal salaries to their male counterparts. A proportionately high percentage of Swazi women have been awarded scholarships to pursue studies abroad. These awards have included scholarships for postgraduate studies. In Swaziland females account for just over half of the population, hence their participation in the public life of the country has a major impact on economic and social development. Moreover, it does not make sound economic sense to exclude half the population from an active role in the business of business (Educansult Limited, 1992).

Gender Disparity in Agriculture Related Activities

Although great achievements have been made in the provision of equal, and to some limited extent equitable, opportunities for females, greater female participation in all sectors of the economy remain abound. In the context of Swaziland agriculture and the contributions of women, much needs to be done to provide women equal and equitable access to inputs of agricultural production. Although women dominates in agricultural activities, their efforts are constrained by prevailing socio-cultural structures and processes. Women in Swaziland have poor access to extension services as a consequence of (Kerego, Dlamini, & Keregero, 1996):

(a) Limited opportunities for functional interaction between extension workers and women clientele;

(b) Male domination in the personnel of the agricultural extension service;

(c) The stereotype of the farmer as an adult married male who is, presumably, a household head and has access to land;

(d) Male constructed technology that is disseminated through male oriented structures;

(e) Women's exclusion from decision making regarding farming:

(f) Inaccessibility to land;

(g) Relative poverty of women compared to men (p. 8).

Women in Swaziland remain excluded from the decision-making structures and processes that pertain to farming activities. Such farming activities as enterprises to be raised, procurement of inputs and securing a loan are in the realm or domain of males. Excluding women, which is based on cultural and legal premises, reduces the productivity of women in agriculture (Magagula, 1991). Cattle which can be used as collateral for a loan, are said to be owned by a male head of the household or homestead. Thus women have no access to cattle, though they may own a few individual cattle, as accessible property. In the words of Amstrong and Nhlapo (1985, p. 105):

It is considered a reasonable requirement that women respect and obey men. The patriarchal structures of Swazi society put men into decision-making positions and women into decision-implementing positions. This implies that women are not openly socialized for decision-making and leadership.

Gender disparities in agricultural activities disadvantaged women and thus hamper development and initiative. The social and cultural environment in Swaziland allows for the exploitation of women in the agricultural sector, in particular.

GENDER INEQUALITIES IN EDUCATION, TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT

In this section of the paper, quantitative data collected and formulated into Tables are discussed. The tables constructed are presented in the Appendix. This section narrates and discusses Tables 1 to 27. The reader is referred to the Appendix for data in Tabular form.

Education and Training

The population of Swaziland is estimated to be growing at a rate of 3.5%. By the year 2016 the population is projected to have reached just over 2 millions as shown in Table 1. The student population at primary and secondary school levels shown in Table 2 has a little more male students than female students enrolled, particularly at the primary level.

TABLE 1: NUMBER OF STUDENTS BY SEX IN SCHOOLS IN 1986 - 1994


Year

Schools

Male Students

Female Students

Teachers

Primary

1986

471

71,475

70,731

4,290


1987

477

74,215

73,528

4,462


1988

481

76,815

76,080

4,665


1989

490

78,835

78,510

4,890


1990

497

83,788

82,666

5,083


1991

514

87,245

85,663

5,347


1992

515

91,174

89,111

5,504


1993

520

94,641

91,630

5,696


1994

521

97,807

94,792

5,887

Secondary

1986

100

15,418

15,071

1,671


1987

113

16,578

16,364

1,760


1988

125

17,733

17,545

1,906


1989

134

20,958

20,923

2,088


1990

135

20,577

20,551

2,213


1991

150

22,085

22,000

2,430


1992

156

25,624

25,890

2,703


1993

164

25,073

25,231

2,794


1994

165

26,107

26,464

2,872

Source: Central Statistical Office, Annual Statistical Bulletin, 1994

In the 1994 there were more girls enrolled in Government Aided than in Government schools as shown in Table 3. This trend obtains at both junior and senior/high secondary levels.

TABLE N° 2: SWAZILAND HIGH AND SECONDARY SCHOOL ENROLMENT BY SEX AND TYPE OF SCHOOL - 1994

Type of School

N° of Schools

Enrolment

Total



Boys

Girls


Junior Secondary Government

9

901

966

1,867

Junior Secondary Aided

47

3,253

3,349

6,602

Total

56

4,154

4,315

8,469

Senior Secondary/High Government

61

12,505

12,066

24,571

Senior Secondary/High Aided

48

9,448

10,083

19,531

Total

109

21,953

22,149

44,102

Grand total

165

26,107

26,464

52, 571

Source: Central Statistical Office, Education Statistics, 1994.

The distribution of primary school students in Tables 4 indicates that more girls than boys access and participate in primary education in the 6 to 12 years: age range. From about age 13 the participation of girls drops remarkably. At the secondary/high school levels the participation of female students in the 11 to 16 year age range is higher than that of males of the same age range.

There are remarkably more male repeaters than female repeaters at the primary school level. This implies that there is more wastage of resources with males than females.

Enrolment at teacher training in the teaching subjects, other than vocational/technical subjects, shows a higher level of participation of females than males. These data are shown in Table 3. At the primary teacher training level there is even a much higher level than females relative to males.

TABLE 3: ENROLMENT IN TEACHER TRAINING BY SEX AND YEAR OF STUDY, 1990/91- 1993/94

Course/Year of Study

1990/1991

1991/92

1992/93

1993/94